Friday, November 23, 2007

Stealing the Dragon (Cape Weathers) by Tim Maleeny

Made for the movies. That could be said about the adventures of Cape Weathers. In his first novel we follow him in his investigation of the murder of several men on a boat full of illegal immigrants from China. The killings seem to bear the markings of his friend, assassin and sidekick Sally. Her backstory is told in chapters in italics. Although an interesting story it did detract a bit from the main storyline making me a bit unsure if it was fitting for a first novel. I’d rather have gotten a better idea of the relationship between Cape and Sally first, then gotten the background on her in a later novel like Robert Crais did with Joe Pike in LA Requiem. Almost more of an exotic thriller than a traditional PI story Cape does have the sense of humor of the aforementioned Elvis Cole and the white knight traits of his other contemporaries. The plot involving the Dragon of the title brings back memories of the Maltese Falcon, the villains make you enter into Fu Manchu or maybe Eric van Lustbader (from books like “Ninja”) and Warren Murhphy’s Destroyer territory. I could picture Kurt Russell in ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ perfectly as Cape.
All in all, an enjoyable read for people who like PI’s but are looking for something just a little different. I, for one, am looking forward to reading “Beating the Babushka” to see what’s in store for Cape and Sally in the future.

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