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by Ed Goldberg
Description: Portland, Oregon, is about as far from his home turf as New York PI Lenny Schneider can get. Talk about culture shock: the air is fresh and clean, the rain unending, the drivers are (mostly) polite and slow, bagels are fat and fluffy, and everybody's friendly (sort of). Lenny came to town in search of a baseball hero's missing daughter, and mooched a bed at an old buddy's place. Next thing he knows, he's involved in controversy, intrigue, and murder. Walter, a radio show host with a talent for getting under people's skins, needs Lenny's help in discovering who's trying to frame him. Trouble is, Lenny starts wondering who's really his friend, who's really telling him the truth, and who's really out to get him, too.
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: January 2008
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [320 KB]
Reading time: 202-283 min.
"Ed Goldberg can lob a phrase with the deftness of any Raymond Chandler on the block ... a great sense of humor...taut and compelling."--The Arizona Jewish Post
"While reminiscent of the hard-boiled favorites Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Ed Goldberg has his own unique writing style. He understands that the greatest plot in the world can't hold up if the readers are unable to wrap themselves around an interesting and entertaining cast of characters. With this, Goldberg performs in Sam Spades. 4 Stars!"--Douglas Quinn, Author of Blue Heron Marsh
I got there, and the cops hadn't responded yet. The Lady Faire Adult Emporium had blackened windows, and pink neon silhouettes of impossibly stacked females on the marquee. I walked into the porn palace. It was empty except for a hysterical clerk who was nearly in a faint.
The shop was set up with racks of videos and magazines, and showcases full of sex toys and other horny paraphernalia. I couldn't imagine what to do with half of them. They looked like vacuum cleaner attachments. The other half were intuitively obvious.
There were posters for porn flicks on the walls. A door at the back had a sign indicating "Mini-Movies." I walked toward it, and the frantic clerk did nothing to stop me.
The mini-movie setup was typical, and don't ask me how I know. There were several booths with doors, each featuring a large TV-type screen, and a coin box that took quarters. Opposite the screens were upholstered benches, with boxes of institutional facial tissues on the floor nearby. The floors would make a maggot retch, sticky and reeking of soured male essence. I had to fight nausea.
When I got to Strunz's booth, his corpse was sitting upright, nailed to the back of the bench by a long knife. The elaborate handle protruded from his chest. The blade consisted of a main shaft, with smaller shafts extending out at an angle from the handle. Strunz's pop-eyed face, instantly recognizable from the cable show the other night, was frozen in rage. This time, presumably, the rage was completely justified.
While Strunz was not a big person, it took some strength to pin him like a butterfly. Strength, or maybe a transcendent anger. He probably had died at once, since the only visible blood appeared to have drained from his upper body. The massive blow that pierced and pinned him could easily have destroyed his heart instantly.