on January 1st 1970
When Ellen Lang's husband disappears with their son, she hires Elvis Cole to track him down. A quiet and seemingly submissive wife, Ellen can't even write a check without him. All she wants is to get him and her son back—no questions asked.
The search for Ellen's errant husband leads Elvis into the seamier side of Hollywood. He soon learns that Mort Lang is a down-on-his-luck talent agent who associates with a schlocky movie producer, and the last place he was spotted was at a party thrown by a famous and very well-connected ex-Matador. But no one has seen him since—including his B-movie girlfriend.
At the same time the police find Mort in his parked car with four gunshots in his chest —and no kid in sight—Ellen disappears. Now nothing is what it seems, and the heat is on. It's up to Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike to find the connection between sleazy Hollywood players and an ex-Matador.
The title of this book refers to The Monkey’s Mask by Dorothy Porter, a hard-boiled detective book written in poetry rather than prose. I’m not saying this book is poetical as it’s written in prose but it’s just a nod to the Porter book. Having said that there’s a quote from a poet called Basho before the book actually starts and it refers to a monkey needing a raincoat in a winter downpour.
It’s a straight out hard-boiled detective story but written in the relatively modern era (1989!). There are all the elements we learned in class. The detective with an eye for the ladies, can handle himself in a fight, doesn’t want to admit it but tends to care for people etc, etc, etc.
I enjoyed it. It was easy to read. There was a lot of violence and I found myself sorry when they found the victim with some gunshot wounds, he wasn’t an entirely nice man but I was still sorry. A quick read, only about 200 pages in my book.
Yes, I do recommend it and here’s a link so you can buy it from Booktopia should you wish to help me with my coffee fun, at least click through so I can celebrate the click.