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Posted: February 21, 2015

A good beach or fireside read

Book Review

By Derryll White

Crais, Robert (2003). Indigo Slam.

BRInsetThis is an Elvis Cole novel for those Robert Crais fans out there, and I know there are a good number of them as we continue to sell a lot of Robert Crais novels at Lotus Books. The story starts in Seattle, a city known to many residents of southeastern British Columbia. It moves quickly to Los Angeles, the geography Elvis Cole knows best.

This is a light novel, a quick read without a lot of demanding content or language. But the story is tight and Elvis Cole’s basic humanity is strongly present at all times. He does the tough moral things men think they should do but often can’t. His cat is the hardest-ass player in the book, uncompromising, free and a solid block of black attitude and fang. Joe Pike is silently present in his stoic sheath of muscle and unforgiving discipline.

The three children the story centres around are wonderful. Self-contained and isolated by circumstance, they embody all the human virtues we want from society – self-respect, sharing, care for others, fierce loyalty. Crais does his usual good job of spinning a tight web that catches and keeps the reader – from the beginning, through the middle, to the end.

This is a good summer beach book, or something to carry with you while others are shopping, or to tuck away with in front of the winter fire. It isn’t going to challenge you, but it will please and entertain.

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Excerpts from the novel:

KARMA – It was plant day in the City of Angels. On plant day I gather the plants that I keep in my office and take them out onto the little balcony I have overlooking West Los Angeles, where I clean and water and feed them. My plants are more yellow than green. A friend who knows plants once told me that I was giving them too much water, so I cut their rations in half. When the plants turned soft as well as yellow, another friend said that I was still drowning them, so I cut their water in half again. The plants died; I bought new plants and stopped asking other people’s advice. Yellow plants are my curse.

ILLUSION – …and how the daddy I was trying to find wasn’t the same daddy Terri was searching for, and I thought how sad it was that we often never really know the people around us, even the people we love.

SEATTLE – …Seattle is capped by a continually redefined skyscape of clouds that makes the sky there a visibly living thing, breathing as it moves, cooling the city and its people with a protective cloak, and washing the air and the land with frequent rains that come and go in a way that freshens the place and its people.

derryllwhiteDerryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at www.basininstitute.org.


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