Psychologist Alex Delaware receives a murder book with crime scene photos of cases solved, with the exception of one, the brutal murder of a young girl. And by chance it is one of the first cases his friend, detective Milo Sturgis, worked on, twenty years ago, before he got transferred away from the case to another police department under dubious circumstances. Curious, Alex and Milo start with their investigations...
I found The Murder Book an average thriller that was too long-winded with too many characters.
Some quotes from the book
Novelty had always been my drug. I craved insomnia and menace punctuated by long stretches of solitude, puzzles that hurt my head, infusions of bad company and the delicious repellence of meeting with the slimy things that coiled under psychic rocks.
The store peddled menswear, but smelled like a nail salon.
I did read the paper because news coverage is heavily biased toward the hopeless. But other people's misfortunes failed to cheer me and the words danced by, as foreign as hieroglyphics.
"Hello, sir", said a cheerful female voice. "Are you the person who pays the phone bill in the house?" - "No, I'm the sex toy", I said.
You never get to know a city unless you walk.
No matter how brutal it got, war was impersonal, human chess pieces moving around the board, you fired at shadows, strafed huts you pretended were empty, lived every day hoping you wouldn't be the pawn that flipped. Reduce someone to The Enemy, and you could blow off his legs or slice open his belly or napalm his kids without knowing his name.
Mile thought: If you hate the job, retire, asshole. Grab your pension two years early and waste the rest of your life growing tomatoes in some loser trailer park.
Not an ounce of extra flesh anywhere but his belly. But what he carried there was grotesque and Mile thought: Pregnant.
"Your basic disturbed loner", he said. "What would we homicide folk do without them?"
"Guy was a fucking loner. A dope-head and a bum and a scumbag. Today, those Legal Aid assholes would call him a poor, poor pitiful homeless citizen and try to get you and me to pay his rent."
"I was the dumb shit they figured would just follow orders."
He disappeared and I stood there, humbled once more by the truism I'd learned a thousand patients ago: Everyone has secrets. At the core, we're alone.
Call the paramedics, we've got an emergency overdose of cool.
Bradley Larner looked like a kid forced to sit for yet another obnoxious family snapshot.
That smile, teeth as white and gleaming as his Rolls-Royce.
I booted up the computer and downloaded Google, because that search engine could locate a hamburger joint on Pluto.
All I saw was a flood of anonymous faces and cars, the usual L.A. ratio of one pedestrian to five hundred vehicles.
"Sorry", said Milo. "Right now putting a layer of separation between you and me is the nicest thing I can do for you."
"Doesn't sound like Schwinn's secret girlfriend", I said. "Or maybe I'm being sexist; I suppose women can steal cars, too."
Why did so many places dedicated to salvation smell of soup?
"I'm Catholic", said Milo. "Put me in a religious environment, and I have an urge to donate."
Nothing worse than a big house when you're alone.
Another bad liar. Thank God for honest people.
"If you had a brain, you'd be an ape."
"You take me out there, and I scream –" - "Then you'll die screaming."
"Finding a bathroom wasn't so easy in that place, every toilet was being used for getting high or having sex or throwing up or doing what a toilet's for."
Bosc thanked him as if he was Santa Claus with a bag full of goodies.
Milo popped the Saab's trunk, gave Bosc a swift, hard kick behind one knee and as Bosc collapsed predictably, shoved him inside, slammed the lid and walked away to the muffled drumbeat of Bosc thumping and screaming. All that noise, someone would find him soon enough.
"Maybe I should have him run around in circles till he drops dead. Save on bullets."
"Who's in the coffin?" - "I burned papers in my office, put the ashes in an urn and we buried it."
"When he does try to influence me it's in the form of not-so-subtle little asides about accepting Christ into my life, not sleazy little ploys to get in my pants."