The Curious Eat Themselves (Cecil Younger Series #2)

The Curious Eat Themselves (Cecil Younger Series #2)

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by John Straley

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“Strong and sobering … with his storyteller’s sense of dramatic action [Straley’s] in his glory.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of the strongest series since Hillerman set up shop.”—Kirkus Reviews

Cecil Younger is an investigator for the public defender in Sitka, Alaska. ASee more details below

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“Strong and sobering … with his storyteller’s sense of dramatic action [Straley’s] in his glory.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of the strongest series since Hillerman set up shop.”—Kirkus Reviews

Cecil Younger is an investigator for the public defender in Sitka, Alaska. A woman who hired him to investigate her rape is found dead in the estuarial waters of Ketchikan township, “her throat cut so deeply that the trachea flopped out like a rubbery white radiator hose.”

John Straley lives in Sitka, Alaska, with his wife, a marine biologist who studies whales. He is the author of half a dozen Cecil Younger mysteries.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the second adventure of Cecil Younger, a PI in southeastern Alaska, Straley reconfirms his claim to the regional territory he staked out in The Woman Who Married a Bear . Louise Root, who was raped at the Global gold mine where she worked as a cook, hires Cecil to gather evidence of the crime, although she won't tell him who assaulted her. Only days later, Louise's body is pulled from a river, her throat slit. Cecil is soon hired by Global's Lee Altman and Charlie Potts, who want to know ``everything'' about environmentalist Steven Mathews. They pay in cash, want no written records of the transaction and warn Cecil to ``stay clear of this Louise Root thing.'' But social worker Hannah Elder, Cecil's former lover and Louise's childhood friend, has no qualms about involving Cecil in her probe of Louise's death, especially after she discovers in Louise's things letters addressed to Steven marked ``return to sender.'' Once past the gimmicky assignments that initiate the plot, Straley's atmospheric prose takes hold and the action hums along, through unethical dealings and more killings, to the rugged, backwoods Alaska finale. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Alaskan private investigator Cecil Younger has troubles with his autistic roommate, with ex-love Hannah, with any form of alcohol, and with the special assistant in charge of Louise Root's murder case. Louise hired Carl to find the men who raped her at the Otter Creek gold mine, but someone kills her before he has a chance. Cecil approaches his work at an angle: desiring a source of drink or food, he locates instead a likely source of information. A love and appreciation of Alaska shine through Straley's quietly compelling prose. For all collections.
Donna Seaman
The second of Straley's Alaskan mysteries featuring the "low-rent" sleuth Cecil Younger, this is a bluesy tale of corporate irresponsibility, murder, and bittersweet love. Cecil is an ex-drunk with a penchant for melancholy, which is reflected by the relentless rain that pounds the shabby little town of Sitka. It's raining when the cops pull the marble white body of Cecil's client, Louise Root, from the swollen, salmon-flashing river; it's raining when Cecil finds the corpse of his autistic roommate's beloved dog in a ditch, and it's raining when he and his feisty ex-lover Hannah plunge into the cold sea for a postsauna swim. Cecil is warned away from pursuing Louise's killers, since she was involved in exposing an evil oil company's hazardous waste scam, but he persists, even after accepting a stack of cash from that very company to investigate her cohort, a phony "spiritual environmentalist." Straley's story line is more than adequate, but the real appeal of this stormy mystery is its artful moodiness, which depicts a far grittier and more intriguingly complex Alaska than we usually envision.
From the Publisher
Praise for John Straley

“Lesser writers look to their characters’ poor choices and attempts to rectify them, John Straley loves his characters for just those choices.  Hölderlin wrote: 'Poetically man dwells on the earth.' Some of us wind up in limericks, some in heroic couplets. But damned near every one of us, sooner or later, ends up in one of Straley’s wise, wayward, wonderfully unhinged novels.”
James Sallis, author of Drive and the Lew Griffin mysteries

“Like the Coen brothers on literary speed, John Straley is among the very best stylists of his generation.”
Ken Bruen, Shamus Award winning author of The Guard

"Chandler, Ross Macdonald, James Crumley... Straley proves once again that he is up there with the great ones… His prose is as smooth as a well-tuned cello. He has tremendous feeling for the setting: not only the open waters and frosted countryside outside of Sitka and Juneau, but also the somewhat seedy streets of these cities."
Chicago Tribune

"Superior thriller writing, once again by Straley—an excellent plot against Alaska's gigantic and bizarre backdrop."
—Janwillem van de Wetering

"Now and then a writer dares to flout the rules and in so doing, carves out a niche that belongs to him alone. John Straley's novels are like no others."
San Diego Tribune

"Like James Lee Burke, Straley transcends the genre.... Marvelous."
The Tampa Tribune and Times

"Straley's beautifully understated narrative, vivid sense of place and unapologetic, unadorned characters make this a riveting, unpredictable ride."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Outstanding.... satisfies on all levels."
The Kansas City Star

"Strong and sobering... with his storyteller's sense of dramatic action [Straley's] in his glory."
The New York Times Book Review

"Straley hits all the right notes"
Booklist, Starred Review

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Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Cecil Younger Series , #2
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Barnes & Noble
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