Monday, April 6, 2020

Review of The Eye of the Cricket by James Sallis (1997, Oldcastle Books)

Lew Griffin is a some-time English literature academic, some-time detective, and always melancholy with a self-destructive streak, scraping by in New Orleans. The fourth book in the series, Lew is now in his 50s and finds himself looking for three missing children: a teenager who has started to hang around with a wayward cousin; the troubled son of a cop friend; and his own son, David, who disappeared years before. The neighbours also want him to bring the reign of terror of teenage thieves to an end. Lew takes his usual meandering path through bars, restaurants, back streets, shelters, and philosophical reflections, meeting a new love on the way. But as usual he finds it difficult to keep everything on track as he wanders amongst the broken and lost, knowing that he too struggles to stay on a path. Sallis spins out the tale at a sedate, reflective pace, pausing to dwell on the nature and meaning of life and the social realities of being poor in the Deep South. Indeed, along with the exquisite prose, this is the real strength of the storytelling, blending philosophical asides and reflections on people and place with the long arc of Lew’s life and his quest to resolve his detection. I was captivated for the entire story.

1 comment:

Terry A. said...

Thank you for reviewing this series. I wouldn't have begun the series without your reviews. I haven't read this one yet. I look forward to reading it.