Reviews > Published on April 5th, 2017

Bookshots: "Catalina Eddy" by Daniel Pyne

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Catalina Eddy

Who wrote it?

Daniel Pyne

Plot in a Box:

Daniel Pyne really gets it — his language is deft, his storytelling skills spectacular. I highly recommend this book.

This novel is actually three novellas connected by thin threads.

The Big Empty: A private eye hunts down his long-since-separated wife’s killer in 1954.

Losertown: In 1987, Assistant U.S Attorney Gil Kirby works a drug case under the unpleasant thumb of his new Reaganite boss, the hot but hateful Sabrina Colter.

Portuguese Bend: In June of last year, a forensic photographer named Finn Miller notices that some of the photos he took of a murder scene have been swapped out and replaced by others.

Invent a new title for this book:

Triple Indemnity  (Okay, it's not great, but cut me some slack.)

Read this if you like(d):

Raymond Chandler (Ignore this.)

Meet the book's lead(s):

Rylan Lovely,  a PI who’s man enough to get away with that awful surname without anyone making wisecracks about it.

Gil Kirby, “Casual, even rumpled, you’d never have made him for a lawyer, much less a federal prosecutor. Which is how he liked it. Guarded eyes, widow’s peak, a swimmer’s shoulders, the promise of a fair shake. Old-school.”

Finn Miller, “Late twenties, restless, hair unruly, he had dark blue eyes his first girlfriend complained ‘saw too much….’”

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

In a tour de force sure to win him an Oscar, Bradley Cooper could play all three roles in a single, if lengthy, movie.

Setting: Would you want to live there?

No. Too many corpses.

What was your favorite sentence?

Hers would never be a love story unless love was made a crime.

The Verdict:

The three novellas, taken separately, are each well-crafted noirs. They've got the mood, the characters, the settings, and the stories that keep noir fiction alive. But taken together, Catalina Eddy is much greater than the sum of its parts. No, it's not named for me (that would be Catalina Eddie), but you're going to have to read almost to the last page to figure out what the title actually does mean. It's worth it; the revelation is breathtaking. Daniel Pyne really gets it — his language is deft, his storytelling skills spectacular. I highly recommend this book.

Get Catalina Eddy at Bookshop or Amazon

About the author

Ed Sikov is the author of 7 books about films and filmmakers, including On Sunset Boulevard:; The Life and Times of Billy Wilder; Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers; and Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis.

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