Wednesday, November 28, 2018

KNOW ME FROM SMOKE by Matt Phillips

"Does the past ever stay where it should?"
This started out as an A-book for me, with writing and subject matter that was right up my alley, telling the story of a lounge singer who's got the blues because of her murdered husband and the .45 caliber bullet in her hip, an ex-convict trying to go straight after being in prison for 20 years, and their efforts to pull each other out of the muck they've found themselves in on the streets of San Diego. I love reading about troubled characters like this and these two were particularly compelling. It was bittersweet seeing them fall in love with the knowledge that soon I would have to watch it all fall apart when the kept secrets between them begin to blow things apart in true noir fashion. But the final half of the book dropped a grade once it started to get a bit repetitive and I also couldn't understand why someone that seems as smart as Royal is would allow himself to get so caught up and controlled by someone like Phoenix. But maybe that's the point...maybe Royal not as smart as he should be, and destined to go down the bad path again.
"The fishmonger smells like fish and the bartender smells like sex. And what is it, Stella asked herself, that the devil smells like? 
Like a match struck and shaken back into darkness—that old devil smells like sulfur."

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