Okay, as I said yesterday, it was inevitable that after seeing the title of James H. Cobb's West on 66, I was going to read it. Today's book is the reason why. I read it around 40 years ago, and I have to wonder if maybe Cobb's read it, too.
A cop named Andy Bastian is hired to drive a kid named Ralph from California to Kansas, where Ralph will be put into what's called, in the novel,s 1961 way, an insane asylum. Ralph is brilliant, and his father's quite rich. Accompanying Ralph and Andy is Olga Beaumont, a psychologist who's along to care for Ralph. They don't get far before it's apparent they're being followed.
This isn't an adrenaline-fueled thriller like Cobb's book. The characters following along aren't hate-filled gangsters and hitmen. There are no heart-stopping car chases, hot sex, and shoot-outs. But that doesn't mean there's no suspense. It's just a quieter kind, and it's played out along a route that runs in the opposite direction, as the titles indicate.
James mentions that Cobb's book isn't quite a pitch-perfect recreation of a Gold Medal novel. Wormser's book is pitch-perfect, not as a re-creation but as an original. Read the first couple of pages, and you'll know what I mean, I think. Wormser's descriptions of the people, the landscape, and the seedy motels are on the money. I like all Wormser's GM books, including The Invader, which one an Edgar for best paperback. If you get a chance, give one a try and see what you think.