At long last! I have finished a book again!
True rating is more like 3.5 stars. This was a fun read that offered a bit of mystery, a bit of romance and a look into how journalism was done in the days before cell phones, the internet and mega budget cuts. It's interesting that the novel was published and is set in the late 1980s, but is steeped in nostalgia for bygone eras. The core mystery stems from a kidnapping case that happened in the late 60s, the main character wanders around bemoaning the current state of journalism (I wonder what Palmer Kingston would make of it now
) and lives in a 1920s mansion-turned-apartment house, drives a 1930s Packard and collects old neon signs from restaurants and nightclubs as they go under. As the author himself told me recently (he's a co-worker), "It's a book that very much looks to the past." He thinks it's dated - and it is in several respects - but I'm okay with that. I don't need for the story to be happening in the here and now. I like stepping into a different era and gawking at the bulky CRT monitor Palmer uses to compose his stories and the payphones he uses to call the newsroom.
The main character is a bit too colorful to be believed at points, and the love interest/rival reporter is a bit two-dimensional, but there are some genuine moments between the two of them, some flashes of depth and dimension to the writing. Overall I was entertained, and that's really all I asked.