Lady in the Lake

Lady in the Lake

I was thoroughly entranced by the author’s “Tess” series, and her twitter feed is excellent because it’s not too much, and not always just publication announcements. Sometimes she gives away books. Apparently, she’s a baseball fan, hat tip. Enough transparency without being too revealing. I appreciate that.

Which was what alerted me to her upcoming Apple TV serial, based on this book. Usually? The book is better, with Amazon’s Bosch and Netflix Lincoln Lawyer series being notable exceptions. Or, on par, at least. Slough Horses, in Apple TV, good, too, catches some of the grit and grime from the novels.

Got a library copy at the end of the last road trip to insure proper airplane reading material.

Since I grew up in a town that had competing newspapers, a staunchly conservative morning paper and a more liberal evening paper? Even though the newsprint wars ended around the first inklings of the web, about the same time I quit subscribing to Austin’s Statesman, as good a paper as any, in its era.

I found that I was reading direct news feeds at the end of an evening shift, online, and that same news showed up in the Austin morning paper. But love the way newspapers and the inked world of news is such a vivid backdrop for the tales, this one included. The side story? The backdrop, or maybe, just a way of adding an element of the missing pieces from the media scene when ink-stained wretches were standard.

It’s a period piece. Possibly a little revisionist in memories of what race relations were like, but it was that bad.

“Permission could be denied, whereas if one acted as if one had a right to be somewhere, that very pretense of self-assurance might carry the day.” Page 191.

My old rub?

“It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission,” cf., Pink Cake (here).

Weird narrative style, and I know I’ve read this kind of tale before, and I know that there’s a name for the structure, but I can’t access that data quickly, moored in my old books someplace. But it is engaging, and the way the author mines a historical record for tale. Trespasses on memories, real or imagined.

“As they say, never get caught with a dead girl—or a live boy.” Page 229.

Who says that? J. R. Ewing — “Dallas,” early 80’s? Early modern monarch suggested it, too.

It’s a winding road, how I became a fan of this author, but certainly worth it. All the clues are there. It’s an invigorating story, historical, wrapped in intrigue, politics, and what I have to wonder, current issues.

Nothing side-stepped, and brilliantly told.

Lady in the Lake

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