Posts

Showing posts from October, 2010

High Heels, Whiskey, & Murder under the Neon Lights

Image
A pretty young thing does a swan dive into a hotel pool part-way through a splashy (teehee) production number, surprising the hundreds of people watching. Granted, it’s a cool effect. Problem is, she’s not part of the show, and her unscripted entrance--tumbling from a helicopter--is also her exit. (Like, her final exit.) Meanwhile, in another hotel... an enormous fellow is sleeping off a bender in a not-so-out-of-the-way stairwell, clad in nothing more than his pasty-white Birthday Suit.  An uber-rich Japanese businessman--who regularly throws tens of thousands of dollars around each trip on wine and women--has just crashed the brand-new Ferrari that he’d put on his room tab. A national group of swingers is due to arrive any time (for an unbridled week of rowdy spouse-swapping), as is a huge contingent of techno-geeks (ready to get their nerd freak on during that little version of heaven known as ElectroniCon). And absolutely everyone who is--or who aspires to be--”someone” in the adul…

The Name of the Game is Revenge

Image
An old and bitter rivalry, which has morphed over the years into an obsessive quest for revenge and blood...
Long-buried guilt over a series of tragic events that happened a decade ago...
A sometimes-partnership, one that has gradually progressed from wariness to a tentative respect and trust to something else, something more...
Hapless young Chinese women, who have unwittingly become prey for a sadistic madman bent on making a point...
These various elements come crashing together for one terrifying 12-hour period in S. J. Rozan's latest tale of suspense--once again featuring her New York private detectives Bill Smith and Lydia Chin-- On the Line.
The chain of events leading up to this eventful half-day begins with the mundane ringing of a cell phone. Bill, intently concentrating on the new piece he's been struggling to learn on the piano, stops what he's doing and picks up because the ring tone is Lydia's--the only person for whom he's willing to drop everything. Any …

A Fairy Tale for Adults

Image
Fairy tales are made of magic.

I wonder how many of you are sitting there right now, nodding (with the large, up-and-down head movements which signify your enthusiastic agreement, or maybe with those small, I'm-incredibly-uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin head bobs which indicate a more-cautious accord), compared to the number of you with a pained look plastered across your faces. "Fairy tales?", the skeptics among you are thinking. "Didn't we leave those behind in grade school?"

Well... yeah, most of us probably did... but why we did that is what I'd like to know.

Look at it this way-- most books do a decent job of throwing "real life" in our faces. It may not be the real life you or I have (and in the case of murder mysteries or horror stories, that's a really good thing), but you know what I mean. It's either the stuff we do, or the stuff we see on TV or in the news. Fantasies, on the other hand, are sort of like grown-up fairy tales, a…

Obsession & Addiction on the Mean Streets of San Francisco

Image
Addiction. According to the dictionary definition, it's "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming... to such a state that its cessation causes severe trauma".


How unfortunate that the word itself sounds so innocuous, considering that it refers to something so unpleasant. Far better if it were an ugly word, guttural and harsh... something to be spat out, distastefully.


I don't suppose it really matters what it's called, though--either to the person dealing with the addiction, or to his/her friends and family. As far as the addict is concerned, the addiction is what defines him or her and drives most of his/her actions. For everyone else, it means a grim acceptance of the fact that life can really suck.


Most of us have at least a passing familiarity with some of the more-obvious signs of addiction; it's easy enough to spot the chain-smoker addicted to nicotine, and nearly as easy to pick…