Finished: Home is the Sailor by Day Keene, 2005, 0-8439-5356-X.
Good. Not great, but I liked the book. A Hard Case Crime reprint. The story was good but the characters were not very interesting to me. I bought this at the used bookstore in the Milwaukee airport waiting for the Parker's plane to get in for Thanksgiving.
It's 1952 and Swede has just quit the merchant marine. Swede intends to head back to Hibbing, MN and spend his savings to buy a farm and find a wife. He goes on a drunk after leaving his ship in San Diego and after a nasty bar fight gets picked up by a gorgeous blond, Corliss, who owns a travelers hotel.
Swede and Corliss decide to marry after a passionate couple of days. Shortly after the two decide to marry Swede punches and kills a guy who Corliss said just raped her. Swede and Corliss take the dead guy and his car to the cliffs along Highway 101 overlooking the Pacific. They put the dead dude in the driver's seat and send the car off the cliff into the water.
Swede has been drunk on rum for the past several days after coming ashore but still recognizes that Corliss's behavior changes aftere Swede killed the guy and the two drove to Tijuana to get married. Turns out Swede was right. He wakes up in jail and all he can remember is that Corliss told him to get out of her life. After getting pulled over for drunk driving Swede has a recently fired pistol, Corliss's car, Corliss's bloody clothes, and several thousand in cash and the cops are convinced he killed her.
Swede escapes the cops and tracks Corliss to a ratty San Diego hotel room where she dives out the window rather than go to jail. Other things happen during all this. Other characters appear, speak, and interact with Swede.