On Patrol

I’m writing this with a nice Johnny Walker and water next to me and the Pittsburgh San Diego football game on the TV. Becky is feeding Spenser at the end of the couch and it’s generally a cozy night here at the Q homestead.

I finally read THE DAWN PATROL and regret every moment I spent not having read it. (Actually that’s not true because when the book first came out I was in the middle of an ugly reading and writing funk and needed to read outside of the crime circle for a while so this was the perfect time to read it) What a great book. I could go on and on like so many others about what a great book this is, but I had an interesting reaction to this book. While I was blown away at how good it was, I thought at the end “I could do this.” Maybe not right now, and maybe not in the near future, but this is the kind of book I could write when I put my time in. Winslow has a great quick conversational style that I’m able to do in som e of my better sections of work.

This isn’t to say I’m claiming to be as good as Don Winslow, I’m not and this book made me feel like a schlub in many ways. But it gave me something to aim for. I love Dennis Lehane but there is no way I’ll be able to do what he does, and I don’t really want to. I’m not aiming for literary respect or anything like that, but I want to be operating at the top of my chosen form. Like Winslow. And like Michael Connelly. It gave me fresh energy as I pound into my revisions.

I’m also thinking about going back and finally reading Winslow’s Shamus Award Winning CALIFORNIA FIRE AND LIFE. I’ve held out for so long because I was angry that this book won the Shamus over Robert Crais’s LA REQUIEM which I still consider one of the best PI novels of modern times. But after THE DAWN PATROL I think it’s time to let that chip fall.

So next on the docket for me is Craig McDonald’s TOROS AND TORSOS. This series has intrigues me because I love stories about writers, and I’m a big Hemingway fan, and I like that whole adventure writer scene of that time, but I never got around to reading anything in the series. And then at the library today it was right there in the new releases so I read a few pages and was hooked. After that is either LUSH LIFE (I know I know, this is right up there with missing on TDP) or Charles Bock’s BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.

What’s in your TBR?