From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 22 Apr 2003

I finished this book a few days ago and it's still on my mind. When I took it down off the bookshelf to read it, I noticed that the front cover mentioned Hammett, Salinger, and Nabokov. The first seemed right in line with what I would expect but the next two raised an eyebrow. After finishing it, I understood.

I can't seem to do anything but pick winners out of the 80s. Reasoner's TEXAS WIND, Corris's WHITE MEAT, and now this fine novel. It's a roller coaster ride. Sordid and mean, then funny and heart-warming, and then deadly and dangerous. The dialogue is wickedly amusing and witty, and the developing relationship between the aging private eye Leo "Bloodhound" Bloodworth and 14-year-old Serendipity Dahlquist is intelligent, moving, and believable. Lochte is fearless in exploring forbidden territory, and he walks the edge like a trapeze artist on a tightrope. He looks damn good doing it, too.

The book has two main protagonists, Leo and Serendipity. They swap first person accounts in alternating chapters. The two meet when Serendipity loses her dog and a policeman who knows Leo sends her to him as a joke. The two of them traipse across the California territory and a growing pile of bodies. The characters are vivid and memorable.

Read this book.



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