Pretty Bags of Meat.
How many people can say their best friend published a novel? Well I am one of those lucky ones!!
Crime novels as a genre are my literary comfort food, from Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler to Ian Rankin and Michael Connelly and now Sean Rima. I love to wrap myself up into the story and get carried down the river with all the suspects, clues, diversions, twists and turns and end up with Hercule Poirot pointing his finger at me in the living room of some drafty English manor only to trick the real murderer into confessing.
The Butler didn’t do it, the Butler never does it…
To put things in perspective here is a pile of books:
These are my stash of crime/thriller books that I’ve read in the last two or three years, quite a catch and not a dud in the lot. I love them. The thrill, the chase, the page turning edge of my seat drama that keeps me up well past my week night bed time; it’s all there in each and every one of these top notch novels.
Don’t turn off the light! What was that creepy sound??
So, when I got Pretty Bags of Meat in the mail a few weeks ago I was excited and nervous. I had thirty years of friendship tangled up in this book, not an easy task to deal with.
I met Sean in college in the late 80s, we were a couple of out of tune guitars in a brass band; that’s to say we just stuck out like sore thumbs. Our interests back then were poetry, eastern philosophy, the Beatles and rock gut wine. Yeah, we majored in whiling away the hours smoking funny flowers…
We were both creative types, I went on to study visual arts and art history at Maryland and Sean went into broadcasting, where he has found his voice so to speak as a talk show host in San Antonio, TX. The urge to write was never stamped out of his soul though and he went on to publish a trilogy of poetry books rooted in the tumultuous times we often referred to as “late America”. Each collection is breath taking and poignant, a testament to his talent as an acute observer of society and story teller. I have read them over and over again; the Jesus Motel is my personal favorite, a tale of life on the artistic fringes of Texas intertwined with the angst and travails of our complicated and disjointed lives in a world of madness and poetry.
Pretty Bags of Meat, is a riveting whodunit detective story set in San Antonio featuring as its heroine a young Latina cop who gets catapulted to celebrity and moved up to the rank of detective for capturing a mad serial killer. Zanita “Zany” Quintana is a skillful amalgam of any number of good honest people you may have crossed in your life, full of foibles and quirks but whose methodical and dedicated approach to her job makes her one tough chiquita. She is surrounded by the types of characters you hope and expect to find in a good detective novel; they’re all there. Of course there is more to it than that, the story is all about what happens to Zany after the “big catch”, the hunt for an even bigger prey looming in the dark underworld of a crime filled city.
The characters are real and alive, the good guys and the bad guys are developed and three dimensional, the story is clear and unmuddled written in a tone and rythm that leaves you eager for more. It’s hard to put down.
I just want you to read it for yourselves and discover a new author!
Sean is already at work on a second book, so it looks like we might have an exciting series of books to look forward to in the years to come. While you may suspect me of bias, his Dachshund was the ring bearer at my first wedding, this is a really good read and I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Sean Rima is a new voice to reckon with in the genre.