Sunday, August 1, 2010

Read: "Houston Homicide" by Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson

Read: Houston Homicide by Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson, 2007, 9781594146039.

Good. The neat thing about this is that it is not a Sheriff Rhodes novel. Crider has plenty of novels but this is the first non-Rhodes book I have gotten too. Salina PL has several other Crider novels, including several westerns, but I don't think I'll get to them this trip.

Police procedural with Ted "Steve" Stephens set in 1969 Houston. Steve is a homicide dick who gets assigned to a triple murder. Steve's wife has recently left him after bizarrely thinking Steve was having an affair. Steve gets assistance in the murder case from well known and well publicized local private eye Clive Watson.

Steve investigates. Steve identifies suspects. Steve clashes with Other Detective working the case. Other Detective is a mostly incompetent jerk. Steve has support of boss. Steve worries over wife. Clive misses dead wife. Steve keeps investigating. Wife gets mental health help. Steve realizes he is a nut for work and devotes himself more to wife. Steve finds killer and through help of Clive gets confession and finds murder weapon.

1. I went to the shelf to get the second collaboration by Crider and Wilson, Mississippi Vivian, but the dang book was checked out already.
2. This could easily sell as a modern inspirational novel where faith takes a back seat to story but is integral to the characters. Waatson is a fairly devout guy and there are some discussions of religion and faith. Especially at the end when a witness who is becoming a nun has a rapid recovery from cancer.
3. Rhodes not Rhoades.
4. Anachronisms? Yellow crime scene tape and (something else I do not recall). When did that type of tape start getting used? What was used before? When did police realize the importance of protecting crime scenes.
5. Why don't cop shows ever have perimeter cops recording who goes in and out of crime scenes?
6. Screw-up between revolver and semi-auto really annoyed me in the first few pages.
7. Everyone but Steve smokes cigarettes.
EDIT 8. Something I forgot to mention is the gay characters. One is the murderer and the other is a undercover investigator for Watson. The gay-ness is not an issue with either Steve or Wilson. I remember sometime in the early nineties or so when a gay guy was murdered in Tyler. The case made the national news not because the victim was killed for being queer but that the Tyler police were very aggressive in investigating and catching the killer(s). My father mentioned he was surprised that the cops were so reactive.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I blame Clyde for any screw-ups. Sadly, he's not here to deny them. As for the part about religion, you're the first person to comment on it. It was very important to Clyde that that come through in the book, so I'm glad you noticed.