Thursday, 30 July 2009

Veggie Books: Manhattan Nocturne

I won some Colin Harrison novels in a competition, and Manhattan Nocturne was one of them. Boy, am I glad I entered that competition. It's a great thriller, and the use of language lifts it to another level. As I read it I felt jealous, and embarrassed of all the times I'd used a tired phrase rather than try to think of something new. Everything about Manhattan Nocturne is fresh. I couldn't put it down.

And, of course, it has vegetables in it. This moment occurs when the lead character, journalist Porter Wren, goes to visit the place where the body of a murdered film-maker has been found a year earlier:

...But it was the garden plots that interested me; the corn husks, dried tomato vines, and rotted flower beds separated by curving paths of scavenged brick and festooned with Christmas lights and chrome hubcaps. A small Puerto Rican flag flew over the garden, and despite the cold, chickens pecked around a shack at the rear of the lot. To one side was a bench seat from a car. An immense and eyeless stuffed animal, gray from the weather - a bear or a dog - hung from the wall of the adjacent building, as if blindly guarding the garden or perhaps, more particularly, the statue of Christ standing in the small grotto planted with roses and hollyhocks. All had been blasted by the winter, but come spring it would be a place of lushness and color, of life.


Tim Stretton said...

Aliya -

hope you had a smooth trip home from the launch.

My plan to email you important Jack Vance information is scuppered by my having lost your email address...

Please email me for recommendations!

Aliya Whiteley said...