The Crime Writer. Finished 12-1-14, thriller, pub. 2007
Unabridged audio read by Scott Brick. 9 hours, 50 minutes
Drew Danner, a crime novelist with a house off L.A.’s storied Mulholland Drive, awakens in a hospital bed with a scar on his head and no memory of being found convulsing over his ex- fiancée’s body the previous night. He was discovered holding a knife, her blood beneath his nails. He himself doesn’t know whether he’s guilty or innocent. To reconstruct the story, the writer must now become the protagonist, searching the corridors of his life and the city he loves.
Soon Drew closes in on clues he may or may not have left for himself, and as another young woman is similarly murdered he has to ask difficult questions not of others but of himself. Beautifully crafted and heartbreakingly told, The Crime Writer confronts our inherent fear of what we might truly be capable of—good or evil.
I am not a fan of amnesia stories but this one was different since it involved a convenient brain tumor, one that appeared in a jar on a counter just a few pages into the book. Drew goes on trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, but this isn’t a courtroom thriller. Drew doesn’t know if he killed her, but he thinks he could have and sets out to prove his innocence for his own peace of mind. Along the way the isolated writer makes a few new friends and relies on some old ones as he is pegged for another murder.
I really liked this Los Angeles noir thriller. Drew was an unreliable narrator because of his memory loss and I could never quite rule him out as a killer. Was he? I think it’s worth a read to find out 🙂
I think the perfect narration by Scott Brick helped create Drew for me and his gravelly voice gave the story the bleakness and urgency it needed.
I think this will appeal to fans of noir, unreliable narrators, books about writers and Los Angeles. I’ll definitely be reading more books by Hurwitz.