Thursday, 29 January 2015

The criminal mind in a nutshell

I am reading The Double by George Pelecanos at the moment. It is the second novel featuring as protagonist private eye Spero Lucas. I already praised the return of the private eye character his the first novel featuring Lucas, a true return to form and also to the relevance of the private eye in the contemporary world. But there is something else always praiseworthy in Pelecanos's novels: his villains. The criminals are also so darn authentic, so genuinely chilling, even more since even though they are completely villainous, they are also completely plausible. The Double has a nasty little trio of villains. I will not spoil it for those who have not read the book yet, but I thought I would give you here a description of their motivations that struck me and stayed on my mind:

"They were thrill seekers. Serge knew no other way of life. Louis used the job to fight off his demons. Billy King had come to the D.C. area to have fun, steal what he could, and fuck and use as many women as he could. No bosses, no rush hour, no line at Starbucks in the morning, no crowded Metro cars. No responsibility.

It wasn't about the money. It was about having enough to stay in the game."

Is it only me, or isn't it the criminal mind in a nutshell? Written like each sentence is a powerful punch, or a precise stab, with efficiency, yet there is a kind of poetic evocation in this quote. It is just perfect.

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