Galveston: Nic Pizzolatto

Posted: March 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

galvestonI finished reading Arms And The Women by Reginald Hill, and Viper by Maurizio De Giovanni earlier this month. More on Viper next week, and then moved on to read Galveston by Nic Pizzolato [creator of the hit TV series True Detective]. I haven’t watched True Detective, because it is only on Sky Atlantic, not one of the 230 odd stations I have on my cable!

The novel was really very good despite the fact that the tough guy on the run tagging along with a much younger woman, and child/children is a repetitive theme in several American novels.

Galveston won the Prix du Premier Roman so I was expecting something better than average, and was not disappointed.

“Why’d you take the silencer off? I asked.

Rocky shrugged and followed something out the window. “I thought it looked meaner without it.”

I said, “You ever been to Galveston?” She shook her head.  

Roy Cady, who admits to being  a bad man, has had a past fling with the lover of his criminal boss. He hears from a doctor than he has terminal lung cancer, and then he and another of her ex-boyfriends is sent on a job, being specifically told not to take a gun he rightly suspects a trap. Emerging from a blood bath he teams up with attractive young blonde Raquel, known as Rocky, and goes on a road trip from New Orleans to Texas, having killed the three bad boys who were about to kill him. On the way they pick up Rocky’s “little sister” Tiffany. The first person narrative by Roy, sometimes jumps forward twenty years from 1987 to 2008, and the reader learns what happened in those intervening years. The reader’s mood, like Roy’s, will change from despair and pity to hope for the future as the story draws to a surprisingly pleasant conclusion for a noir novel.

I do have a weakness for Country Music, years ago there seemed to be little else on the radio when driving across the vast spaces of the American South West, so I chose some appropriate  accompanying music for reading this book. Galveston by Glen Campbell and one of my favourites Amarillo By Morning by George Strait. 

Amarillo was gas stations and storage units, low end strip clubs between motels, pounding winds. You could drive and drive but there would still be only the plains and the water towers and the small derricks bobbing up and down like seesaws.

[It does make a bit of a change from my usual Puccini and Verdi, which melodiously plays when I am reading Andrea Camilleri, or Maurizio De Giovanni.] 

” Look, though. It works both ways. Tomorrow you could get rich and fall in love.” I’d never believed that, but I tried to sound convincing.  

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    That part of the country has a very distinctive setting, Norman, and I’m glad that Pizzolato portrays it well. And yes, country music is a very appropriate accompaniment for a novel that takes place there. I’m glad you enjoyed this is well as you did.

  2. tracybham says:

    Up to now I have avoided mysteries set in Texas and Southern novels in general, but just in the last month I read two mysteries set in Texas (small towns, rural) that I enjoyed, so I should try this one too. And because you reviewed it, I remembered that I had bought this one for the Kindle already, which I had forgotten.

  3. Norman Price says:

    Margot, my wife was a Tony Hillerman fan for many years. So despite the fact she can’t stand the heat we went to Arizona and New Mexico. The different culture was fascinating especially when we heard two mothers with teenage daughters speaking Spanish to each other and English to the daughters all at the same time!

    Tracy the image of Texas and the South can be a bit intimidating. I remember other drivers in New England being very wary, when I was driving a car with an Alabama the Heart of Dixie number plate.

    • tracybham says:

      That is very funny, Norman. My parents, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama most of their lives, were the sweetest gentlest people you can imagine. It is true, of course, that guns are a big thing in the South. It was mostly the racial attitudes (and attitudes toward women) that I was glad to escape from. No place is perfect though.

  4. Bill Selnes says:

    Norman: I cannot say I love the only two kinds of music enjoyed by many Saskatchewanians – country and western – but you picked a couple of classic country tunes I enjoy hearing played. I will have to try matching music to the book.

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