L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais
At the base of Capital Hill in Burnaby, just east of the East Hastings junkietown sprawl of Northern East Vancouver lies a hidden gem of a bookstore, specializing in crime and science-fiction. According to the current owner it was once a haven for occult manuscripts as well, and the old owner was considered to be a wizard of some renown (!!). After the former owner moved on or passed away (I was never clear which), the new owner quickly tired of the sinister characters who would appear at odd hours with peculiar arcane requests. He sold off the occult collection en masse and refocused the shop on mysteries and sci-fi. I don’t know if I believe this little tale or not, but the store’s labyrinth little corridors and delightful stacks certainly carry with them the dust and odor of arcana and the occult.
LT, the Professor, and I visited this shop for the first time in sunny September. After he told me the above story, I asked the owner to turn me on to the best mystery novel I’d never heard of. Without hesitation, he presented me with LA Requiem.
LA Requiem tells us a tale of serial murder and police corruption in early nineteen-nineties Los Angeles. We’ve got police corruption, hardboiled noir, a bit of sleazy sex, and some hard choices. Good stuff, if you like the modern potboiler detective thriller.