Go to Homepage   James H. Cobb: West on 66

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsThree moons iconThomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardback), ISBN 0-312-20621-6
If you love hot cars, the Fifties, undercover cops on vacation, first person narratives, and believe in the glamour and myths surrounding Route 66, then this is the mystery for you. Set in 1957, West on 66 stars L. A. County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Pulaski, his car (a black-and-white, souped-up, 1957 Chevrolet hardtop that rides high-tailed and belligerent), a mysterious young woman with a bunch of bad guys on her trail and, of course, the Mother Road -- Route 66. 

Book: James Cobb, West on 66After an unsatisfactory reunion with his brother in Chicago, Kevin leaves early to take a leisurely trip back to Los Angeles and his job. Kevin's feelings for his brother can't compare to Kevin's first concern and love, his car. The book constantly refers back to the car, its acceleration, its traction, its power.  

In the middle of a rainstorm, Kevin brakes at a truck stop to get something to eat and a cup of coffee. His male hormones kick into gear when a beautiful but enigmatic young woman walks into the café. Kevin offers her a ride, but the bad guys ambush them before they can make it out of the parking lot. Kevin pulls his gun and holds the villains at bay while the woman (Lisette Kingman) brings the Chevrolet around so they can make their escape and lead the ensuing chase. 

Book: James Cobb, Sea StrikeDaughter of a dead gunman, Lisette possesses a guidebook with strange markings that just might hold the secret to the location of $250,000 her father stole from his partners. Partners, I might add, intent in recovering the money and getting their gangster paws on Lisette. Did I mention the chase goes on and on and on for close to 2,000 miles? 

As a person who views cars as transportation, not objects to love, honor, and cherish, I may not the best person in the world to review this book. Although I found the book well-written, well-plotted, and full of action, the '57 Chevy took center stage much too often for me. The human characters seemed one-dimensional in comparison.

Patricia White 

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the western Edwina Parkhurst, Spinster, is available from Hard Shell Word Factory. 

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