Day 51, Chapter 51
Back to some hot cop action today. I’ve read and re-read this section several times and I still can’t really decipher what Lindsay says.
Conklin muttered to me as he parked the squad car in front of the Tudor-style mansion on Russian Hill.
“What a coincidence, huh? Hello Kitty does a job the same night the Lipstick Killer attacks Elaine Marone and her child.”
“Rich, when my eyes flash open, you know? After three hours of sleep, I think it’s all too much, that the Job is getting to me, that I should quit before it kills me. And then I ask myself what the hell I would do after that.”
What does that mean, “When my eyes flash open”? There’s no real effort made to convey any sense of real character depth here – this isn’t creative writing, it’s Babblefish translations of Patterson’s undigested garbage. The first thing he barfs into his dictaphone every day. In fact, I’m going to try my hand at this today. Here’s how I would have written this scene:
Conklin pulled the squad car into a shady spot in front of a large Tudor home in Russian Hill. He sighed and shook his head as he turned off the car. I knew what sort of inane bullshit was coming my way. I just stared out my window as he cleared his throat.
“It’s weird, isn’t it? Another Hello Kitty robbery on the same night that Lipstick kills two more people?”
“How the fuck is that weird, Rich? We’re working two cases – ongoing investigations with multiple crime scenes – there’s bound to be some overlap. God, I haven’t slept a full night in a week and you’re blathering about this shit like it’s a fucking X-File case. Jesus. Just get out of the car, will you, and go talk to these people?”
See, Lindsay swears like a sailor in my version. I don’t think it’s that hard to give the characters a little bit of life. They’re all just going through the motions in the book – no one’s believable as a real person in any way. To me, that would be harder to do than just giving a micron of effort towards character development. JPatt, if you’re reading this, I’m ready to collaborate. Step aside Maxine, you’re finished.
Anyway, as far as plot in Chapter 51, Lindsay and Conklin interview the Morleys – the wealthy, sporting goods-selling, Big Chill party-throwing power couple from Chapters 45-47. Jim Morley had a face-to-face with Hello Kitty as she was robbing him, but he thought she was another friend from the party and left her alone to empty his safe. But he did identify Hello Kitty as a woman – something that had never occurred to the police.
I was reeling from this new information.
If Hello Kitty was a woman, it was our first real lead. A blind lead to be sure, but something!
I say we just leave it there – I don’t want to overwhelm Detective Boxer.
Go to Day 52.