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Richard Lake's picture

Looks Like Trouble

By Richard Lake in Arrest Us

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Description

You don’t like Detective Eddie Cage? Good. Stay away. It’ll save him the trouble of smacking you around.

Comments

jorjon21's picture
jorjon21 from Wisconsin is reading Shotgun Lovesongs June 16, 2014 - 8:22am

I liked your bare bones prose.  Good job on keeping the story moving.

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em June 16, 2014 - 9:25am

Thank you jorjon. I really appreciate the kind words. 

Nerval's Lobster's picture
Nerval's Lobster from New York City is reading Seiobo Down Below June 17, 2014 - 8:12am

Rockin' the Mickey Spillane vibe on this one. It's good! Nice use of detail. 

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em June 17, 2014 - 9:08am

Thanks, Mr. Lobster. That's exactly the sort of thing I was going for, so it's nice to know it worked. 

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) July 1, 2014 - 5:21am

There have been a few hard boiled stories in the contest, some good and some not so good. This is one of the former. What I liked most about it was that it is kept nice and simple. You aren’t aping classic pulp paid for by the word. That makes it flow very smoothly and with a nice pace to it. It steers very close to trope, but never crosses that line into cliché. Nothing here surprises, but it’s consistently entertaining.

On a more critical note, it would have been nice to see something I wasn’t expecting. Femme fatales are ten a penny, so with Evie the only female featured, the reveal loses any impact. There is one noiresque tale I’ve read so far in the contest that does something surprising with this trope. That said, the way your story is written, it works within the context, so this is perhaps a little nit-picky, especially as it looks to be almost homage.

Unusually I don’t have an awful lot to say, which is a good sign. I don’t have much in the way of pointers of how to improve it. I think you if you subverted the well-worn tropes you could have something special on your hands, but as it is, I think you nail what you set out to do. It’s a definite thumbs up from me.

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em July 1, 2014 - 1:23pm

Thanks so much for the kind words, Adam. I just wanted to tell a fun, hard-boiled story. I'm glad you thought it worked. That said, I think your point about the "reveal" being an easy one to see coming is a good one. If I ever do anything with this, maybe a new character or two would add to the suspense. 

 

Again, thank you for taking a moment to read and to offer your thoughts. It means a lot. 

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK July 1, 2014 - 7:28am

Like it. Gritty noir, all good. Nice one.

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em July 1, 2014 - 1:24pm

Thank you, Seb. Appreciate it very much. 

kevymetal's picture
kevymetal from Halifax, NS July 12, 2014 - 8:19am

Love the transition between the bar and Ricky being killed. I was expecting a lengthy Big Sleep-style pursuit to be what moved the story along and that pulled the rug out from under me. 

Cooze, two-bit, mook. The language is spot-on and I can hear the inflection in the detective's voice as I read. Nicely done.

The twist of Evie being out for revenge (rather than just being a greedy opportunist) is welcome; usually in hard-boiled tales we know the femme fatale's probably not what she seems and is harbouring a dark secret, but in this one the detective thinks he has her number and he totally doesn't. It's nice to have someone bad-to-the-bone that we can still root for. 

Similar to the transition at the beginning - having him wait in the car while she takes care of business is also a masterstroke. Her coming back to the car with a bullet hole she barely acknowledges is, for lack of a better phrase, pretty fucking cool.

Top marks.

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em July 12, 2014 - 8:22pm

Dude. You just made my day. Thank you for the appreciation, and for getting it. There's a fine line between sticking to traditional hard-boiled prose and making a fool of yourself. I'm glad you seem to think I stayed on the right side of that line.

Yeah, poor Ricky. I didn't much care how he died, and I didn't think the readers would, either. And the decision to let Evie go in there by herself, without even the reader tagging along, was a tough one. I wanted to watch her do her thing as much as the next guy, but it would have ruined the mystery. Glad you thought it worked.

The revenge thing. Had to be done. Being bad for the sake of being bad, that doesn't work for me. She needed her reason.

Thanks so much for your comments.

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk July 15, 2014 - 6:37am

Hi Richard, 

Sorry not to be a lot if use to you on the feedback front with sugesstionson with this one as I think this thing fecking rocks. It just nails what a hard boiled noir crime story should be. Some may called it over done but I love this stuff. 

One of the hidden gems of the comp so far, defo needs more readers so I'll mention this in the forum thead.

http://litreactor.com/discuss/pimp-your-arrest-us-stories?page=1

A soild thumbs up

Dave

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em July 15, 2014 - 12:14pm

Thanks so much big_old_dave. That's so great to hear. I didn't know about the forum, being a newb around here. I'll check it out. 

Dylan Mackey's picture
Dylan Mackey from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Wake Up Dead by Roger Smith July 18, 2014 - 1:14pm

Richard,

Loved Eddie's voice - it was consistent throughout and this was a solid, well done noir piece.

Thumbs up and good luck.

Richard Lake's picture
Richard Lake from Las Vegas is reading all the books. all of 'em July 18, 2014 - 2:39pm

Thanks, Dylan. Really appreciate it.