the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Book Review: Rain Dogs and Love Cats

By Andrew Holmes

Whether by fluke, by chance, or by some inner psychic ability I have allowed myself to read more good books than bad of late, and this has been one of the picks for me.

In an enjoyable, yet odd way, Holmes has managed to take an 80s throwback kinda guy with a passion for action figures and vinyl, kill off his Tom Waits impersonating brother and come out with a Film Noir slash Kojak type private dick morph and make it not only funny, but believable.

The story picks up in 1973 when a woman, after drinking a couple of cans of beer falls asleep on her sun lounger while her 8mth old son is in the paddling pool = expected outcome. Fast forward to our wedding DJ ‘hero’ coming to the realisation his life with wife and newborn, while trolling eBay for movie memorabilia and rare records (78s and 45s, not Olympic) who understandably shows more than a little suspicion when his older brother is burnt to a crisp when his car crashes on some motorway while coming to see him. His brother is painted well as a Kramer (from Seinfeld fame) kind of dude who loves jazz (who doesn’t?) and has a special fondness for Tom Waits, especially his iconic (yet not my favourite) Rain Dogs album.

What happens from there involves a sultry and mysterious woman from the sub-continent, a missing Spinone (a dog) named after the husband of a movie star, a wealthy realtor with an interest in graves, Donna Sommers, and finally a masturbating parks-maintenance guy who I picture in my head looks like Shane Warne, and you have a cleverly written detective story which drags up plenty of skeletons from the past. And with typically dry English humour this book is easy to read and just as easy to follow.

More often than not I spend the whole time trying to second-guess books like this and while in some points I solved the case this story threw plenty more up for you to dodge on the way to the ending, and ending that should be closely scrutinised  by Hollywood on how to close out a story…i.e. there doesn’t have to be any large windfall for the hero, no jig-a-jig push-push on the mat, and certainly no walking off into the sunset…well, he does, sort of, as only the English know how I s’pose; understatedly (if that’s a word?).

Great book, highly recommended!


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