It was so good to be back with the 87th that after reading Doll, I couldn't resist Eighty Million Eyes. Now I'm done with Eighty Million Eyes, I couldn't resist and so I'm reading Fuzz. After that, I'll need a break- I don't want to get through all the books any time soon, so I'll be changing direction for a while.
The Eighty Million Eyes of the story are those watching TV comic Stan Gifford as he takes to the screen for another of his weekly shows. Two of those belong to a big fan of his, Steve Carella. It's because he's tuned in that Carella gets to see his favourite comedian collapse and die as it happens.
In the madness that follows, Gifford's doctor anounces that his patient had a strong heart and that a heart attack should be ruled out. He also suggests that poison may have been involved. The autopsy confirms this, but doesn't rule out suicide as a possible cause of death.
That's our main plot and, just for good measure, there are some throwaway jokes to maintain the comedy spirit.
Our sideline here, and my prefered strand, is delivered as the opening in the form of six pages of perfection. A hard man is waiting in an office for a woman named Cindy. The boss wants him to leave, but he's not budging. A cop is called. He's a rookie who things he can handle the situation. He can't. Hard man demands Cindy is called. When she finally arrives, it turns out she has no idea who it is that wants to see her so badly. The heat is turned up, the cop intervenes, the cop takes a battering, the hard man exits. It's a brilliant set up and the plotline is hugely satisfying, not least because it confirms the sense from Doll that the real Kling is back with us.
I took this with me on the train down to Newcastle to see the Magpies thrash Man Utd 2-0. What with the result, the read and the grin on my son's face, it was just about the perfect day.
Not quite the tension and excitement of Doll, but well worth a visit.
There's more on this one over at Hark if you fancy the podcast. You might also enjoy Criminolly over at Youtube, who has a piece where he holds up every book of the series that he can with a few treats besidse. His recommendations on 'Pulp, Crime, Horror, That Kind Of Thing' are well worth checking out.