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29 February 2016

Rambling About.. No Regrets, Coyote by John Dufresne

Title: No Regrets, Coyote         Author: John Dufresne
Publication: 15 July 2013 - W. W. Norton & Company
First Line: My friend Bay Lettique, a sleight-of-hand man, does close-up magic.
Faves on 4s:
p 24 - Dad sang a halfhearted and halting rendition of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" that included the lines, "Bring us some friggin' pudding / And a bottle of beer."
p 74 -  I decided I'd get the year off to a flying start by making a list of everything I ought to do. Turned out I had eighty-eight items on my list, from Colonoscopy to Organize the garage.
p 154 - I don't believe in the efficacy of magical thinking, but what I do like about this kind of pre-logical associative thinking I was engaged in is that it was lead you to places you would never have gone on your own. And who doesn't love a surprise?
p 224 - That must have been a chapter in The Scumbag's Manual: pitch a royal fit if you get caught, scream till you're blue in the face, act like a persecuted innocent, and later forgive you mark for his unwarranted, unseemly, and vicious attack.
p 274 - In life we always want to know what happened in the past in order to understand the present, but in stories we don't need to know. We trust the storyteller, who does know.

Ramble: I cried like a baby on and off for days when Elmore Leonard passed away. His books were my escape when life got to be too much. I've seen most of the movies and television shows based on his books multiple times (even though I'm still miffed at the casting of Jennifer Lopez as my beloved Karen Sisco). When my parents decided that we were going to up and move from New York to Florida it was fine by me. After all, Florida was the Land of Leonard.
Fortunately, it's also the Land of John Dufresne.
In fact, the only Dufresne I had read before now was his contribution to the ever-so-lovely Naked Came The Manatee. Gosh, I wish I had a copy of that to re-read ....
I picked up No Regrets, Coyote after being approved on NetGalley to read the second one in the series early. I don't even remember hitting the little button saying that I wished it was available, but apparently I did because a couple of weeks ago this popped up on my screen:
Of course, I can't dive in to book two of a series knowingly so I hopped on to Amazon and used some gift card balance to order No Regrets in hardcover off the Marketplace for a mere penny (plus shipping).
Best damn penny ever spent.
Wylie is a therapist who works with the local police from time to time as a consultant. He's not necessarily magical or psychic -- just really good at reading people and surroundings and figuring things out. Along the way we get to meet a freaking crap-ton of characters including Wylie's sister and her oddball husband, their father who is battling Alzheimer's, some ex-girlfriends and an ex-wife, corrupt and not-so-corrupt police, mobsters, sleazy lawyers, gamblers, and several of Wylie's therapy patients. Oh, and the homeless guy named Red who's living on Wylie's lawn. It's enough to make a lot of people confused but I didn't have a problem with it -- possibly because of how I'm already familiar with the super-mega-humongous casts of Leonard and, well, life. Too many times the characters in books seem to live in little sparsely populated bubbles. Dufresne has created a great big messy bunch and I found myself drawn to even the most despicable of them ... at times.
Yes, there's a crime. Several, in fact. Horrendous ones. This is no ordinary whodunnit, though, where the crime is laid out and then the investigation clips along and it's all tied up with a pretty little bow at the end. There's no pretty little bow here. Not to say that things don't get solved, but there's definitely nothing pretty about how it all comes about. It makes for a nice change of pace from the cozies and helps to fill the void left by Leonard. I could totally see Wylie meeting up with Raylan Givens at some point ... which now makes me want to marathon watch Justified. 

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