Friday, August 17, 2012

Forgotten Books: Manhattan Is My Beat -- Jeffery Wilds Deaver

Before he became a bestselling writer, Jeffery Deaver wrote several paperback originals using a slightly different byline.  I believe he wrote two for Paperjacks before moving over to Bantam.  This one is about a young woman  who calls herself Rune.  She's a sort of manic pixie dream girl, though she's not shallow.  She collects fairy tales and has a unique way of looking a the world.  She also works in a place that rents VHS tapes.  Remember those?  Remember the stores that rented them?  This book was published in 1989.  The world has changed since then.

There's one customer who particularly interests Rune, and guy who rents the same movie all the time.  Its title is Manhattan Is My Beat, and when the customer is murdered, Rune thinks there might be a connection to the movie.  She also suspects there might be big bucks involved for her if she can find them.  So she becomes an amateur sleuth and meets a young man who needs to be taught to embrace life, or at least to embrace it in a new way.  

Before long Rune's involved in some serious doings and being pursued by killers, though not for the reasons she suspects.  In fact, she hardly suspects she's being pursued.  This being a Deaver novel, albeit an early one, there are several twists and turns in the narrative.  It all moves along pretty well, if not as smoothly as some of Deaver's later work, and it makes for a nice evening's entertainment.  Copies of the original edition might be a little pricey, but there are cheap reprints available all around.

4 comments:

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Thanks very much for this one Bill, completely new one on me as I had no idea about the books published under the variant byline.

Cheers.

Sergio

Bill Crider said...

The two Bantam editions under that byline have been reprinted. I'm not so sure about the two from Paperjacks. I have only one of them.

Kent Morgan said...

That cover looks familiar so I'm positive I can have a copy somewhere. Did quickly find the Bantam revised printing from 2000 with Wilds missing from the name.

Todd Mason said...

Can't be worse than his later work I've read.