Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quickly Read: "Texas Wind" by James Reasoner

Quickly Read: Texas Wind by James Reasoner, 2004, 9781930997516.

Originally published in 1980 by Manor Books which went out of business upon publication. I'd heard that Texas Wind had a "cult status" but I reckon that is due to the few copies in existence. This is a reprint by Point Blank Press. Point Blank also printed Reasoner's Dust Devils.

Since this is a Reasoner book I knew it would be good. Texas fits well alongside Dust Devils with it's crime tale and short length. Not that I can tell how many pages there are in Texas because Point Blank was too fucking dense to print page numbers.

Cody is a private dick in Fort Worth. He gets asked to investigate the disappearance of a college girl by the girl's wealthy stepmother. Cody tells the mom to call the cops. Cody investigates. Cody talks to girl's best pal and a couple others and finds another guy is missing and figures the two ran away together.

Cody tells mom girl ran off or eloped. Mom says someone called claiming to have kidnapped missing girl and dropped off a freshly amputated finger as proof. Cody gets abducted and his paid and then beaten to stay out. Cody keeps looking. Cody figures out who nabbed him. Cody observes ransom payoff. Payoff goes bad. Cody finds bad guys dead in their house. Cody keeps looking. Cody figures it all out. Cody gets shot but lives.

1. Lots of pay phone usage and Cody has an answering service.
2. Cody is no genius, he is an average guy doing his job. Cody investigates by talking and questioning. No inside cop knowledge and street informants to pave the way for him and ease the writer's job.
3. Disco dislike.
4. Western art love at Amon Carter Museum.
5. Cody gets severely beaten by goons. Very little gun play until the end.

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