Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Such Fun, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After reading Francine Prose's novel, which brilliantly portrayed bohemian Paris in the Thirties, with a bit of the Holocaust mixed in, I needed something lighter. Not that "Death In The Headlights," with its mixture of greed, abandonment, avarice and murder is "Mary Poppins." But it trumps the horrific reality of Jewish extermination, I cam telling you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mark McNease is getting to be the Joyce Carol Oates of mystery witters; he just cranks them out, darlings! One thing I am increasingly noticing is his unique ability to create female characters, who turn out, so far, to be more interesting than his gay male ones. In the two books so far comprising the Pride Trilogy, I was so taken with Detective Linda Sikorsky that I yearned for a novel centering around her.
Well, I got my wish, darlings! "Death In The Headlights" is that novel, and Detective Linda is so worthy a heroine she deserves a series of her own. Kyle and Danny are on Linda's turf now, she being newly transplanted to the South Jersey/New Hope, PA area. Linda is fascinating, a recently come-out lesbian who, despite her having been a cop, might not be as butch as you think. Let me put it this way, I would not cast someone so obvious as Melissa McCarthy as Detective Linda, but someone a bit more feminine and soft! Chloe Sevigny might be interesting! And what an edge she would bring!
Who knew aristocracy existed in South Jersey? I never did, and I grew up in Jersey. Central Jersey, that is!!!!!!!!!! Cross Creek Farm, and its inhabitants, come off as some sort of ghoulish extension of Manderly; one expects someone there to be a distant relation of Mrs. Danvers!
And, true to form, Mr. McNease has two new and fascinating female characters here. The first, that Charlotte Gaines, is some piece of a work; all I will say is, we have seen her kind before, girls, and you all know how trash ends up--in the garbage! Charlotte is given quite a lot of play; more so than the novel's most fascinating character, discarded heiress Justine Creek, once a drug addict who stole from her family, now a bohemian, aging hippie folk artist type, eking a living by family wealth and painting. We should all be so lucky. My only disappointment was I kept hoping Justine would have more of a play in the story, but her appearance in the story amounts to a cameo! Burt what a cameo! I could see Sarah Paulson playing her!!!!!!!! And how about Kate Winslet, or Jennifer Jason Leigh, as Charlotte?????????
I had such fun with this, I cannot wait to see how the Pride trilogy concludes or what is in store for Detective Linda!
But, Mr. McNease, please, PLEASE think about some way of bringing back Justine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!