A very interesting noir piece by a writer whose troubled soul (and alcoholism) kept him from securing a place in the pantheon of pulp writers who achieved recognition beyond the genre. (His book, Dark Passage,” was made into an unusual Bogart/Bacall film in 1947.)
A down-and-out, disgraced ex-cop surviving in his netherworld community of darkness, rain, water, and despair is contracted by the local criminal boss for a mysterious task that the ex-cop must slowly deduce. Then he’s “recruited” by the boss of the police department’s special unit, “Night Squad.” And this boss has very special and personal reasons for wanting the criminal boss eliminated.
They’re all here — broads, bimbos, and courtesans; cons, crooks, and grifters, all uniquely drawn and brought to life. It’s all here — booze, “tea,” gun battles, brawls, lust, and hot pursuits. In the end, Goodis’s talent, like Chandler’s or Hammett’s or Cain’s (to name a few), was not giving us happy endings for any of these characters. Even the police boss’s revenge is tinged with vinegar. In this world, darkness prevails.
Whenever I listen to this Youtube clip from the 2004 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony and enjoy Prince’s remarkable solo, it reminds me of the following experience behind the wheel…
It had been a good day. In the morning, a simple red-eye arrival from Hong Kong or Tokyo. I forget which. A sleepy businessman in his fifties, or maybe it was a woman. I forget. Not much luggage, a quick Beverly Hills drop-off at a house on Bedford. Or maybe it was Roxbury. A nod of thanks. An easy two hours minimum plus 15% gratuity.
Then an airport run from the Beverly Wilshire for an English actor known for his romantic roles and Oscar nominations. He’s traveling with his boyfriend, who’s a lot younger. This is no surprise to me. when gossip columnists want the inside stories, they talk to limo drivers. Not that I’d tell them anything. Another two hours and another 15%.
The radio was silent so I took number 18 back to the car-barn. That bastard Al gave me a ticket for a musician and his AR. I assumed he was a musician because the instructions said they were to travel … (more)
Pleased to see that my short story, “Flight 18,” was chosen for the April Short Story Spotlight at Triggerstreet.com. It is part of the collection, “L.A. Limo Tales,” available on Amazon worldwide as a Kindle offering.
Allow me to say that I hope that the hundreds (thousands?) of limousine drivers working the Oscars tonight have a better time parked somewhere near the not-Kodak Theater than I did in 1979 being gassed in a subterranean garage near the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. And, while we’re talking about limousines, consider acquiring your e-book copy of “L.A. Limo Tales,” Life Behind the Wheel in the Days of Posers, Power-brokers, and Big Hair Bands.
I once had a writing partner who was a maniacal note-taker, but his organization skills left a great deal to be desired. One day, I couldn’t help but notice pages and pages and yellow pad after yellow pad strewn around the floor of his living room. When I asked him how he kept track of what he had written, he tapped his head and said, “It’s all up here.” I pointed at the floor and said, “Maybe, but it looks to me like it’s all over there.”
Starting work on my Las Vegas crime novel, “Joey’s Place,” and its planned prequels, I knew that tracking and utilizing the research necessary would be a challenge. I started looking for research software. One I found was Personal Brain.
Having three hundred years of known facts about southern Nevada and the southwest as well as the biographies and character sketches of many individuals (great and not-so-great) readily available and easy to access was a necessity. Then there was the geological and pre-historic information that I would need to give my stories veracity. And I wanted … (more)