Sunday, June 06, 2010

Nobody's Angel -- Jack Clark

When Jack Clark was driving a cab in Chicago, he wrote a book about a Chicago cabbie named Eddie Miles and published it himself, selling it to his fares. Now the book's been reprinted by Hard Case Crime with what I suspect is a much cooler cover.

Nobody's Angel is an interesting choice for a crime fiction line, since it's hardly a crime novel at all, at least to my way of thinking. Sure, there's a murder and a slashing, but they seem incidental to main thrust of the novel, which is more about the life of Eddie Miles and how it's spiraled down the drain, much like the city of Chicago seems to have done. There's a strong thread of nostalgia for the city's past and the way things used to be, and Miles' tours of the town are almost like a trip through Dante's Inferno. The plot, however, is thin.

Don't get me wrong, however. I liked the book a good bit. The writing's good, and Eddie's an interesting character. The descriptions of Chicago and of the people who wind up in Eddie's cab are really well done. If you're looking for something a little different from the usual crime fare, this might be just the thing for you.

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