Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Eight Mile and Dequindre", by Loren Estleman

From: Amos Walker: The Complete Story Collection, Tyrus Books, 2010.

Private eye Amos Walker drove out to a little diner on Dequindre where it me Eight Mile Road just to be stood up by a prospective client. He was still there, nursing his coffee and thinking about a career change, when a young guy who looked a bit like Howdy Doody came in, beaming and flashing a picture of the girl he's there to meet.

Walker was just leaving when the two thugs barged in and shot Howdy Doody dead.

So naturally he's obliged to stick around a while longer, until the homicide detectives are all done with him. Much later he's finally crawling into his Chevy for the drive home when something catches his eye - a woman, naturally. The woman from the dead man's picture.

The set-up has obvious similarities to Raymond Chandler's "Red Wind", and it's the first time I noticed a well-known author giving a hat tip to his influences. The rest of the story plays out in the traditional way - nice guy mixed up with the wrong crowd wants out - and is pretty typical of early Walker.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I live about fifteen minutes from Eight Mile and Dequindre. It's become a pretty seedy area.