Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Book ~ "Dinner at Deadman's" (2012) CJ West
To make a living he builds and maintains housing for recovering addicts and along the way he's employed a number of his clients. The men wrestle with the siren call of drugs and teach Lorado about the difficult struggle to stay clean one day at a time.
When these two worlds come together, Lorado learns that not every elderly person dies of natural causes and that some estates are sold to benefit a killer. His latest project hits close to home. A woman he's known since childhood haunts him from a fresh grave. Her grandson, an affable addict who has fallen off the wagon, stands to inherit a considerable sum whether he deserves it or not.
Lorado is a big man ... 320 pounds. He lives with his girlfriend of 17 years, Roxie, and their teenage son, Jake, and his 100 pound dog, Beta. His house, basement and storage unit are filled with junk, which drives Roxie crazy.
One of the ways he makes his living is organizing estate sales for heirs (he gets 30% of all sales). That's what he's doing when the book starts ... Mary Newbury has just died. He also rebuilds and maintains housing for recovering addicts and hires some of of them. One of his hires is Mrs. Newbury's grandson, Newb.
There is a lot going on in this book. When a series of mysterious things happen to him (he gets poisoned, a brick smashes the window of his car, his son gets beat up), Lorado assumes it is the local drug dealer getting even with him for something he didn't do. Plus he's got to deal with local punks breaking into one of the sites he is renovating and stealing his supplies to get money for drugs. And finally he starts to suspect that Newb might have murdered his grandmother for drug money (he was her only beneficiary). There is always something going on and it goes in lots of different directions (but it all makes sense).
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I liked the writing style ... it was fast paced and kept me interested. It is a bit sarcastic at times which was fun. The actions and language is mature most of the time.