A razor-sharp, exquisitely paced, madly fun debut thriller that gleefully lampoons Hollywood culture and introduces the highly eccentric yet brilliant ex-detective gone rogue: Charlie Waldo.
There are run-of-the-mill eccentric Californians, and then there's former detective Charlie Waldo.
Waldo, a onetime LAPD superstar, now lives in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions. He has left behind his career and his girlfriend, Lorena, to pay self-imposed penance for an awful misstep on an old murder case. But the old ghosts are about to come roaring back.
There are plenty of difficult actors in Hollywood, and then there's Alastair Pinch.
Alastair is a onetime Royal Shakespeare Company thespian who now slums it as the "wise" Southern judge on a tacky network show. He's absurdly rich, often belligerent, and typically drunk--a damning combination when Alastair's wife is found dead on their living room floor and he can't remember what happened.
Waldo's old flame Lorena, hiding peril of her own, draws him toward the case, and Alastair's greedy network convinces Waldo to take it on. But after such a long time away from both civilization and sleuthing--and plagued by a confounding array of assailants who want him gone--Waldo must navigate complicated webs of ego and deceit to clear Alastair's name . . . or confirm his guilt.
I was ready for a smart witted /sharp tongued read. Which for other readers, it seems that is the case with this book. Sadly, I did not have the same experience. Although, I did see a tiny glimmer of this in the lead character, Charlie. Charlie is a bit unconventional. Yet, this is what makes him interesting. I just wished that the rest of the characters were as interesting. If they had been than my feelings about this book would have been different. This was not for a lack of effort. I was reading this book just fine for the first half of the book but still no improvements for me. After this the last half of the book was more of a skimming effect.
I do give Mr. Gould his dues as he has a good goal of where he wants to take his characters. This book may not have been a home run for me but I am curious to see what Mr. Gould comes out what next and I would try another book from him. This will not be my "last look" at Mr. Gould.