The Juciest Racket In Town Needed Too Many Murders.Two men are show and killed outside the Grand Cafe on Amsterdam Ave. There's no connection between 'em, but the widow of one hires Barney Harris, a 250-pound auto mechanic, to sniff out police corruption and find her husband's killer. First issued 1955. Also published as 'Visa To Death.'...
|Title||:||The Best That Ever Did It|
|Number of Pages||:||576 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Best That Ever Did It Reviews
I really don't like giving someone's hard work less than three stars, but this was a little difficult to read. The time and setting were never really clear to me, it seemed that Lacy wanted it to be a certain decade and had looked into a few things and imagined what the vocabulary of the day would sound like for each of his characters and their specific backgrounds, but it often felt like the author unintentionally confused slang and other vernacular from different time periods. The time and setting just really didn't seem well researched. But I am not a historian, and perhaps my confusion is due to a lack of knowledge on my part. Nevertheless the formatting of the book also made it a task to read at times. The infrequent switches between narrators, slowed the pace down for several chapters and then the last several chapters felt rushed. The structure of the final chapter was the most confusing and the writing device used here was a genre technique that could have been a nice touch but didn't fit well with the structure of the rest of the novel and thus fell flat here. The language and structure of the novel was just really distracting to me. I'm also not sure what the genre was supposed to be, but it couldn't be a thriller or a mystery since everything is explained to the reader early on and you just wait until the end to see how the protagonist discovers everything you've already been told. All of that said, I did end up caring for these characters and wanting to know more about them, and I cared what happened to them - that counts for something at least. Lacy's work is a pleasant light read you can pick up whenever and enjoy at your leisure, at your own pace. Nothing exceptional or groundbreaking, but enjoyable anyway when you just want to pass the time.
Another pulp thriller from Ed Lacy. I enjoyed this one more than the last, perhaps because Lacy has a way of creating detectives that aren't quite the standard mold. Barney Harris is a widower raising his eight-year-old daughter, Ruth, struggling to make ends meet with a part-time detective agency and as a part-time mechanic. Barney finds himself with his first criminal case when a beautiful widow enters his office. Her husband, a police officer, was killed in a shoot-out in Harlem (a favorite locale of Lacy) and while the police are investigating his death, she believes he killed himself. It seems an unlikely scenario, but she's willing to pay. So Barney Harris investigates. Like other Lacy novels, the mystery is not thick or convoluted. This one takes a slightly different tack in departing from the usual first person narrative to give us an account from the POV of the criminals themselves. We don't really understand why they commit the double murder that opens the novel until late in the story. I found the reason for the murder to be a little thin; also, Betsy Turner's desire to prove her husband killed himself is a difficult-to-swallow reason for starting the investigative process. But there is chemistry between Harris and Turner which develops slowly and ends with a slight twist and a laugh. Harris himself, struggling as a single father and a budding romance, as well as his stumbling detective work, make the book worth reading.As with Lead With Your Left, Lacy tosses in a line that made me double back and read it twice. This time, it's about doctors, and in this regard Lacy was not prescient. Barney is talking to his client, Mrs. Turner, who disliked her husband's profession as a cop. "Mr. Harris," she tells him, "doctors are necessary too, but suppose a doctor limited himself to handling cancer cases all day, day after day--in time he'd probably become infected himself. A cop, always working with criminals, I think he becomes infected too. After a time the cop and the criminal blend, the hunter and the hunted become one." It's funny to read about a time when all doctors were the same. An M.D. meant you healed patients, not that you only saw children or only saw geriatrics, or only worked on feet, or only on cancer, or only on intestinal diseases. Lacy may not have been able to predict the future of medical care, but he certainly could spin a decent pulp detective thriller.
Wow. Let's just summarize the plot. First three chapters:Meet Barney, mechanic-cum-private detective. Wait. No, no, mechanic-cum-bad private detective. Ooops. Barney is a mechanic-cum-bad private detective-cum father of a precocious little girl. So, no, actually, mechanic...cum bad father of precocious little girl.Remaining chapters:Barney gets irritating client, the mystery is explained to the reader in counterpoint, Barney manages to not die or get fired until the culprits are arrested. Barely.On the plus side, sarcastiquotes were liberally used.
I was delighted to find this book after going through all of Raymond Chandler's work and searching for similar writers. Ed lacy doesn't have the prose-like style of Chandler but his noir is good and solid. I wish the book was longer. He crammed a lot into the story and even developed two characters from youth to adulthood through two countries. Great era descriptions for those who like time travel in their reading like I do.A great price for the Kindle edition, too!