Wednesday, June 18, 2014
TELEGRAPH HILL by JOHN F. NARDIZZI
San Francisco seems like a legendary city to me; it's one I've always wanted to visit but haven't had the opportunity. One of the joys of reading is that I can visit such a place through the magical descriptions of talented writers. Telegraph Hill took me to San Francisco on a breathless trip up and down hills, across bridges, and looking out on the bay. In addition, I saw the city through the eyes of a fascinating character, P.I. Ray Infantino, and an excellent plot.
Author John Nardizzi is himself a private investigator and lawyer as well as author in Boston. That lends the necessary authenticity to his characters' actions, with allowance of course for a little extra heroism and ability to escape the bad guys.
Infantino has been hired by an attorney in Boston to find a Chinese woman in San Francisco. Supposedly her family is concerned about her and just wants to be assured that she is all right. Actually she has worked as a prostitute, has ties to the Black Fist Triad, and is on the run from the triad. Things start to smell fishy almost immediately as Infantino runs into Asian thugs at every turn. We know part of her story, just enough to make us worry about whether she'll survive long enough for him to save her.
Meanwhile, Infantino's fiance was killed in San Francisco ten years earlier and he's still on the trail of the man responsible. He looks up an old girlfriend, Dominique, who also has contacts he requires to find Tania Kong. The story is enough to take your breath away and the chase scenes are brilliant. At one point during a guns blazing flight, a tourist couple think they've stumbled into a movie set and begin asking people for autographs. These flashes of the most clever writing catch the reader up short and you laugh as Infantino gets away yet away.
This book cries out for a movie version and definitely a sequel. We must know what happens next to this honorable and courageous private investigator.
Source: Partners in Crime Book Tours