Monday, February 13, 2012

Done Listening: "City of the Sun" by David Levien

Done Listening: City of the Sun by David Levien, 2008 (print), audio downloaded from Overdrive.

I was searching Overdrive and lucked out on seeing this one. I liked it. Levien's name is too difficult to spell. He should change it to Smith.

First of the Frank Behr novels of which Thirteen Million Dollar Pop was the third. I liked this one better than Pop.
This novel has more about Behr and his background. A farm kid from Oregon (Washington?), Behr graduated with a criminal justice degree and was hired by Indianapolis P.D. Behr was a real go-getter and made a name for himself. He got married and was going pretty until his son died and he went downhill. Behr's wife left him, he lost his job and and he became a private eye.

Behr is hired by Paul who is still trying to find the 12 year old son who disappeared about 14 months ago. Behr does not want a case reminding him of his dead son. Behr does not want a missing kid case when the kid is likely dead. He takes the case anyway when he reads the dad's file on the case.

Behr starts digging. Behr is gruff. Behr is big. Behr does Joe Pike runs up hills with a weighted backpack. Behr uses his old cop contacts. Behr does the digging the cops skipped and finds a lead.

Meanwhile Levien-Smith follows a couple guys responsible for the boy's abduction. Levien-Smith first person views Paul and Behr and bad guys. Bad guys are nasty, nasty people. One bad guy kills the other. Behr figures lots of things out. Behr figures out a broker for kidnapped kids was selling the kids. The broker is a vile piece of amoral crap who considers child abduction, child rape, and child murder a business transaction.

Behr and Paul chase broker. Broker dies right after revealing where kids taken. Behr and Paul head to Mexico. Behr and Paul dig around. Behr and Paul find remote compound where kids taken. Lo and behold Missing Kid alive and rescued. Behr is mauled by a Presa Canario.

1. Smith writes some really vile bad guys and makes them believable.
2. Treatment of rape. This was something that I thought about throughout the book. How the act of rape is often glazed over in drama and fiction. That a raped woman is ruined and ashamed. How a rescuer hopes to rescue a woman before she is defiled. How many flicks can you name where the hero arrives right just before the sexual assault? The same kind of treatment here with the missing kid. He is kept by a wealthy Mexican who is saving him. Missing Kid is not sexually assaulted. But, I was happy to have that. I didn't want the kid to be raped, abused, beaten, assaulted, [other words].
3. Greedy strippers. One bad guy worked in a strip club and was hot for a dancer. The dancer had no interest because he had no money. Behr gets her to talk by saying the bow dead guy was secretly wealthy. The stripper thinks back to the money she missed out on, how the guy was maybe not so bad.
4. BBC 6 Music is playing an acoustic tune by Martha Wainwright.
5. Charter Arms .44 Special love.
6. Punching technique love.

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