Detective Mike Hoolihan has seen it all. A fifteen-year veteran of the force, she's gone from walking a beat, to robbery, to homicide. But one case--this case--has gotten under her skin.
When Jennifer Rockwell, darling of the community and daughter of a respected career cop--now top brass--takes her own life, no one is prepared to believe it. Especially her father, Colonel Tom. Homicide Detective Mike Hoolihan, longtime colleague and friend of Colonel Tom, is ready to "put the case down." Suicide. Closed. Until Colonel Tom asks her to do the one thing any grieving father would ask: take a second look.
Not since his celebrated novel Money has Amis turned his focus on America to such remarkable effect. Fusing brilliant wordplay with all the elements of a classic whodunit, Amis exposes a world where surfaces are suspect (no matter how perfect), where paranoia is justified (no matter how pervasive), and where power and pride are brought low by the hidden recesses of our humanity.
Amis certainly never writes the same book twice. After major efforts like London Fields and The Information and smaller ingenuities like Time's Arrow comes this extremely slender attempt at a dark American crime story. His narrator is a hefty, tough-talking policewoman called Mike Hoolihan, who strains credulity right off by announcing herself as "a police" and asserting that this is how cops refer to themselves. In an imaginary American city that seems to be a mix of Chicago and Boston but isn't really either, she has been called in by an old buddy, a senior police official, to investigate the apparent suicide of his beautiful daughter, Jennifer Rockwell. Jennifer, a brilliant astrophysicist (another chance for Amis to display his fascination with the galaxies), seemed to have everything to live for, yet she apparently shot herself through the head three times. (Is this possible? Yes, according to Mike's research). Her lover is a possible murder suspect, and so is a man who may have been another, if improbable, party in her life. But as Mike digs, it becomes apparent that Jennifer was a much stranger person than anyone knew. It's not exactly a rivetingly original story, and Amis's echt tough American narrative style, though clearly the work of a clever ventriloquist, is unconvincing. The length suggests this was no more than an experiment, and it can only be described as an unsuccessful one: readers in search of the Amis they admire will have to wait. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The first thing I am left with is an alternate way to read . . . just as fast as I can . . . Let the words spill out over me. . . and the images . . . and the mind of 'Mike'. sorta seeps in.
Night Train is hard to read. It is not a pleasant read at all . . . it's unconventionally presented. It's too . . . too earthen . . too gritty . . . too graphic . . . and a few other 'toos' . . . and totally worth the sensation that one can actually smell her expensive 'cheap' perfume as she passes . . .
Is she OK, I wonder? . . . ya . . . she'll outlast us all !