But The Blonde does give careful attention to its setting, a subject of more than occasional interest here at Detectives Beyond Borders, as here, from Page 152:
"The bus pulled up. The brakes were shot; a high-pitched whine cut through the predawn quiet. The engine was rattling so fiercely, it was a wonder the panels of the bus were still attached to the frame. There was a pneumatic hiss, like a snort, and the two panels of the doors shuddered open.Swierczynski, who was born in Philadelphia and still lives here, has said that writing in the persona of an outsider visiting the city gives him a sharper view. Those of us who live in Philadelphia, take public transportation and have read The Blonde know he's right.
" ... Jack stepped up and tried to scan the fare signs quickly. Confusing as hell. Transfers, zones, base fare ... two dollars. Two dollars?
"`One ride costs two dollars?'
"`Two dollars,' the driver said. He had patches of a beard on his jowls, and his eyes were red-rimmed.
" ... oh, thanks Christ. A ten and a single. His change from the airport bar last night.
"`Can you break a ten?'
"The driver sighed. `Exact change only.' He nodded his head in the general direction of the fare sign.
"`Come on, buddy. Can't you sell me a one-day pass or something?'
"The driver didn't answer, as if the question was beneath him. `On or off.'"
Swierczynski took an everyday observation of life in his own home town and integrated it effectively into his book. Which authors have done the same for you? What novels and stories integrate bits of local life that you recognize because you lived there?
© Peter Rozovsky 2008
Labels: Duane Swierczynski, Noir at the Bar, Philadelphia, readings, The Blonde