Reading this old school thriller – Crumley got style

Juli 2022.

Some years ago a friend lend me a copy of the novel The last good kiss by James Crumley. It came out the same year I was born, 1978, and I had never heard of it before. The copy was in Swedish and quite new, published by Modernista, a company known for translating American classics or more niched hits. I really like The last good kiss. It’s what you could call a hard boiled crime novel, but unordinary and well written. Dark and funny. I recently found out, hadn’t bother to look it up before, that Crumley wrote a couple of other novels. I’ve gotten hold of one them: Dancing Bear. It was published in 1983 and the paper back copy I bought online from a second hand bookstore called Bokbörsen.

It’s a thriller too. A middle aged man who fought in the Korean War is working as a security guy. He’s bored and poor and is trying to stay out of trouble, but one day he gets an odd offer he can’t refuse. An old lady, who used to date his now dead father, wants to hire him to find out why a man and a woman are having a rendezvous in the park next to her house once a week, the one of them driving different cars every time. She just wants to know what that’s all about. Then all turns hell.

I like it so far. Crumley is fun reading. He’s got style.

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