Today in January Magazine’s crime fiction section, contributing editor Jim Winter reviews Cape Disappointment by Earl Emerson. Says Winter:
If reading and reviewing books over the past couple of months has shown me anything, it’s that we’re ready for change. Three out of the last four books I have reviewed had an undercurrent of anger toward the American government as run by George W. Bush. Thomas Lakeman’s Broken Wing barely disguises the author’s rage at military contractors such as Blackwater. Olen Steinhauer’s The Tourist does no favors for the CIA. And then there’s Earl Emerson’s first private eye Thomas Black novel in 10 years, Cape Disappointment.The full review is here.
Emerson starts this novel off with a bang. Literally. Black, a Seattle sleuth (last seen in 1998’s Catfish Café), recounts his too-close-for-comfort experience with a bomb explosion inside a school gymnasium, where a political candidate had been speaking. Since he was smacked against the wall and impaled, Black’s description is naturally surreal, disjointed and horrifyingly graphic. The story lurches and halts between the recent past, where Black recalls talking to his wife on the phone as he watched her plane suddenly crash, and the present, while he’s trying to recover in a hospital bed. Black’s tale becomes coherent when he’s able to focus on the beginning of his latest adventure.