Armando the Guatemalan pool boy has not been feeling himself of late, Crimeziners. It is asthough he has experienced a “wonderfully evocative examination of violent loss” or a, “Journey away from the shores of childhood, a journey from which he can never return as he experiences the heartbreaking price of adulthood and its wisdoms.” What manner of trauma has caused this, most perplexing condition we hear you cry?
Perhaps, you may muse, it is the nightly pursuit of our young hero by immigration and customs enforcement along the mean streets of West Hollywood’s boys-town barrio? Perhaps, the arduous task of fishing out party detritus and deceased starlets from the Crimezine swimming pool, or perchance it is the ardent and amorously unsolicited attentions of Crimezine cocktail wrangler Consuela, as she chases our Guatemalan Ganymede around the hot tub, in nothing but a cellophane tabard and a pair of heavily lubed pink marigolds?
Yet another sexual harassment case is something we are trying to avoid this month at Casa del Crimezine, after Jennifer Aniston and husband Justin Theroux dropped around for Mexican BBQ on the glorious 4th, and great uncle Eustace did his famous/notorious ‘drowned dolphin’ impression. Fortunately, after employing our finest Dónde está el cuarto de baño Spanish, it was established that the doleful, melancholia of our tan young Piscina niño has been facilitated by yet another mournfully evocative work from crime writer’s crime writer, William Kent Krueger [No relation to Freddie].
Having hungrily read his way through a dozen or more of Krueger’s Minnesota based masterworks, such as: Boundary Lake, Purgatory Ridge and the Edgar Award winning Ordinary Grace, Armando has been lapping up Krueger’s latest, Manitou Canyon, a mysterious mix of James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman and just more than a hint of that lake loving Midwestern mad-man Ernie “Sure the gun ain’t loaded” Hemingway.
Naturally, the delightfully named Cork O’Conner features as protagonist. Half Irish, half Ojibwe American, our hero is this time out tracking down a mysterious missing person, as a perfect storm of family strife and merciless winter is closing in from the ever-darkening horizon. A high stakes finale ensues—of the kind that will have you sleeping with the lights-on and bracing the chasming darkness with a three-fingered shot of you favorite falling-down juice. Family struggles, hideous truths, baffling disappearances—it is no wonder that poor Armando hasn’t been himself. But fear not Crimeziners, as our proud hero sashays forlornly around the yard in shrink-wrap speedo’s, pool dredger in one hand, heavily thumbed Krueger tome in the other. We have already pried Crimezine cocktail wrangler Consuela away from the French doors with the aid of a fish-slice spatula and a very liberal spritz of Windolene, and instructed her to hit up our young hero with a generous Tanqueray Lime-Rita, or something of that nature.
“There are more things in the woods than a man can see with his eyes. More things than he can hope to understand.” Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger is available now.
Now, what was the name of that Krueger protagonist again? Donegal Fermanagh? Tyrone Wicklow? Kerry Kildare? Antrim O’Shaugnessy? Galway Roscommon? Monaghan McGrath? Wicklow O’Sullivan? Sligo Tipperary?