Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Damnation Street by Andrew Klavan

The reason I bought this book because the blurb intrigued me:

“Scott Weiss is a weathered P.I. based in San Francisco, an ex-cop with a basset hound's face, a romantic's soul and an empath's ability to read others. He's holded up in a hotel room, thinking of the girl he should have left alone and waiting for the Shadowman, the hitman he knows is stalking him.

Jim Bishop is a young, good-looking livewire with a taste for violence, drugs and loose women. Bishop is holed up too, three-days-drunk with the blonde who nearly killed him on his mind and the cops on his tail.

Bishop used to work for Weiss, until he screwed him over for stolen cash. Now he is Weiss's only hope...”

I didn't know this is part of a series (following Dynamite Road and Shotgun Alley, which features Scott Weiss as the head of San Francisco PI agency Weiss Investigations, and Jim Bishop who is formerly one of his operatives) , although this can be read alone in my opinion. Anyway, this third installment is packed with action and intrigue. I could only describe the story like a cat playing hide and seek with the mice, which is leading the cat to the cheese. My description might sound a little absurd, but this is the impression I get from the story.

I don't understand why Scott, the protagonist appears to be besotted with Julie Wyant, who is after all works as a prostitute and that he can be her father considering their age gap. Perhaps he is a little too sentimental, that's why I can understand why he thinks he should save her from the stalker who is known as John Foy aka The Shadowman. It seems like Foy is obsessed with her too, and that explains why he is following Scott closely so that he could lead him to Julie. Earlier on Julie has begged Scott not to trail after her, but of course Scott refused to listen.

And enters Jim who feels he owes Scott in a way and hoping to save him from the killer. Jim is a "troublemaker" himself, having been estranged from Scott and was charged with a link to murder thanks to his 'girlfriend', but this doesn't stop him from finding Scott and saving him from the Shadowman.

Added to the plot, there is also a first person POV featuring the anonymous narrator having an affair with Sissy, an older woman working in Scott's office. But he isn't in love with Sissy, instead he has his eyes on Emma McNair whom he has left behind and now, her father hires him to spy on her.

All these scenes add up to more confrontal situations which is the climax of the story. Although I still find Scott's 'obsession' a little ridiculous, overall this story is a great read.

(X-posted at my blog.)

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