Monday, September 8, 2008

Swann's Last Song-Charles Saltzberg

Swann's Last Song
Charles Saltzberg
Five Star, Sep 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594146565

Manhattan based private investigator Henry Swann earns a living as a repo man. So he is more than shocked when femme fatale Sally Janus wants to hire him to find her missing husband, Harry. Besides the wealth that denotes she can afford a downtown pro, he is puzzled that she cane run down neighborhood. Still the upfront money is too good to pass even if he has never done a missing person case.

However, almost immediately after she hires him, Harry's murdered body is found in a hotel dive sleazier than the repo man’s office. Sally rehires Swann to find her husband's killer; once again he accepts though he never did a homicide investigation before as the money is too good to pass. He begins to follow clues that take him to rock and roll in Vegas, Mexico and Germany in search of the Peking Man fossils.

SWANN’S LAST SONG is an exciting but odd hard boiled noir. The story line starts out fast-paced as Henry feels he is in a movie when the femme fatale hires him to first find her husband and when the corpse is located find who killed him. Although the plot spins totally out of control especially after trips to Vegas, Mexico and Europe, fans who like the action piled on without regard to accepting food stamps or passport stamps will relish Swann’s search for the Peking Man.

Harriet Klausner