Synopses & Reviews
James Crumley is one of the most influential crime writers of the post-Chandler era, and his raw, subversive novels have earned him living legend status. He first introduced readers to C. W. Sughrue (Shoog as in sugar. And rue as in rue the goddamned day) in his now classic The Last Good Kiss
. An ex-army officer turned Montana private eye, Sughrue is as tough and cynical as he is good-hearted and weak-kneed when it comes to women and booze. Hes back to take readers on a bender through small towns, dark bars, and dank hotel rooms in a novel charged with Crumleys genius for the poetry of violence.
In The Right Madness, Sughrues close friend, psychiatrist Will MacKinderick, begs him to track down stolen confidential psychoanalysis fileshe suspects one of his patients is the culprit. Going against every last instinct, Sughrue agrees to take on the casea $20,000 retainer is always hard to resist. And when the suspects start dying of violently unnatural causes, Sughruefueled by alcohol, drugs, and lurid sexual entanglementsfinds himself struggling to stay ahead of the madness unfolding around him.
Before Pelecanos, Connelly, and Lehane, there was Crumley and, with The Right Madness, he shows us once again how he put the hard in hard-boiled.
"At the start of Crumley's brilliant new hard-boiled detective novel, Montana PI C.W. Sughrue (introduced in the author's 1978 crime classic, The Last Good Kiss) is relaxing in a hot tub with his old buddy, psychiatrist William MacKinderick. Their team has just won the state championship in the over 50 softball league. Sughrue, whose body bears 'more scars than a practice corpse,' has even quit smoking. But when MacKinderick hires him to shadow some of his patients to see who may have taken personal files from his office, his old wild urges come roaring back. 'I wanted another cigarette. So badly I couldn't remember why I had quit.' Cigarettes, whiskey and cocaine all return to Sughrue's menu as one patient after another dies a gruesome death, and the reasons for the murders becomes less and less apparent. Soon Sughrue can threaten a bad guy with the warning, 'I've got a hangover that would kill a normal man.' Crumley shows his usual deft touch with poetic language (a shady lawyer boasts 'a smile as innocent as the first martini') and humor ('I'm a private investigator, sir; I leave the blackmail to the lawyers'). The themes of nightmarish madness, betrayal and survival will glue readers to the page. Crumley remains one of the finest writers in the Raymond Chandler tradition. Agent, Owen Laster at William Morris. 4-city author tour. (May 9)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Hyperkinetic prose full of rotgut and rue. . . . No one does it better than Crumley. (People) What Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles of the Thirties, James Crumley does for the roadside West of today. (Harpers magazine)
Do yourself a favor and read it tonight. Nothing you could do with your clothes on will be as pleasurable. (Otto Penzler, The New York Sun
From the classic "The Last Good Kiss," Sughrue is as tough and cynical as he is goodhearted and weak kneed when it comes to women and booze. He's back to take readers on a bender through small towns, dark bars, and dank hotel rooms in a novel charged with Crumley's genius for the poetry of violence.
James Crumley is one of the most revered practitioners of post-Chandler crime fiction, praised by the likes of Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly as a major influence. C. W. Sughrue is Crumley's most indelible creation. Now Sughrue is back, in a searing thrill ride of a novel that has the seen-it-all Montana private eye trying to find out which of a small-town shrink's bizarre patients has made off with some highly confidential files. Fast-paced, brutal, melancholy, and ruefully funny, The Right Madness
is Crumley at his uncompromising best.
About the Author
James Crumley is the author of eleven novels, including one of the most critically acclaimed detective novels, The Last Good Kiss. The Mexican Tree Duck won the Dashiell Hammett Award for Best Literary Crime Novel from the International Association of Crime Writers.