Discussion by Kalteis and Frankson, photo by Detectives Beyond Borders
|(Photo by your humble blogkeeper, Porto, Portugal, 2011)|
And read what I had to say about Kalteis' Ride the Lightning:
I read Dietrich Kalteis' debut novel, Ride The Lightning, as an uncorrected galley, so no quotations allowed. But trust me: The book is pretty good.
What I like best is that it sustains a breakneck pace without sacrificing character to action, or action to character. Kalteis made me care about his cast of lowlifes, screw-ups, and marginals without stopping the action too often for endearing moments of humanity or self-conscious wit. What these characters show of themselves, they show in the act of doing what they do.
What they do is grow, develop, and sell drugs; rip each other off; try to stop each other from growing, developing, and selling drugs; and seek revenge. Even the worst of the main characters is good enough at what he does that he earns a reader's respect. He gets kicked around and beaten up and gets his leg caught in an animal trap, all of which he deserves, and his very resilience is admirable. I also like Kalteis' understated nude-beach scenes.
This novel, appropriately for a book under consideration at Detectives Beyond Borders, crosses the U.S.-Canada border, from Seattle to Vancouver, where most of the action happens. So Karl, the bounty hunter who loses his job and has to shift from the U.S. to Canada, muses that he expects less violence as compensation for his reduced income. (Karl states this in a more entertaining fashion, but this was an uncorrected galley, so no quotations allowed.)
I also like characters' references to Medicine Hat, Alberta, as "the Hat," as well as the mostly downmarket setting, not so much because I got to go slumming, but as a reminder that peaceful, low-key Canada has its lowlifes, too.
© Peter Rozovsky 2014