So this week I am, somewhat belatedly, reading Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane, in which a childhood trauma in the 70s leads to a tragic murder in the 00s. Or at least, that’s how it looks so far …
I’m sure the situation is not quite as straightforward as it looks at first. I have my own theory about what happened; we’ll see if I’m in the ballpark. (Why does being “in the ballpark” mean you’re close, while being “out in left field” means you’re way off? Isn’t left field in the ballpark? Especially if left field is walled in by Fenway’s the Green Monster …) Anyway, until the mystery is resolved, I’ll just keep marveling at Lehane’s punchy dialogue, which is so Boston you can practically smell the baked beans.
“They brought fucking dogs in, Sean. Dogs, for my daughter. Dogs and frogmen.”
“Yeah, they did. And we got half the fucking force in there, Jimmy. State and BPD. And two helicopters, and two boats, and we’re going to find her. But you, there’s nothing you can do, man. Not right now. Nothing. We clear?”
Jimmy looked back at Chuck standing on the curb, eyes on the weeds leading into the park, body tilting forward, ready to rip through his own skin.
“Why you got frogmen looking for my daughter, Sean?”
“We’re covering all bases, Jimmy. We got a body of water, that’s how we search it.”
“Is she in the water?”
“All she is is missing, Jimmy. That’s it.”
For some reason I can’t stop thinking of Jimmy as the same Jimmy from Margaret Atwood’s classic post-apocalyptic book Oryx & Crake. Except in Oryx & Crake, of course, Jimmy is dealing with the aftermath of way, way, way more than one murder.
Meanwhile, editing is almost (but not quite — sorry Nancy!) finished on Television Man, with only 16 pages to go. After that will be a sweep for typos, and then, on to formatting for publication. Perhaps by next week there will be no more teasers available for Television Man, but for now, here’s one more …
It felt like falling through a set of thick, sticky curtains. Fortunately they slowed her down, and it wasn’t far to the bottom; the dome covered a shallow depression, more like a sunken living room than a pit, so once inside she stumbled down a few steps before sprawling on the floor, which was soft and pink and somewhat spongy, like firm meat.
Mmm, nothing like falling through sticky curtains and landing on meat. Down the hatch!