South Boston PI Mark Genevich struggles to lead a seminormal life despite his narcolepsy, whose symptoms include falling asleep mid-conversation and hallucinations, in this uninspired noir from Stoker-finalist Tremblay (City Pier). When Jennifer Times, the daughter of prominent DA William "Billy" Times, comes to Mark's office with racy photographs of herself she received anonymously, Mark agrees to take her case. But after trying to contact both Jennifer-who's a contestant on an American Idol-like TV show-and her father, Mark realizes that Jennifer's visit was a hallucination. The photographs are his only tether to reality, one that becomes even more tenuous when he discovers not only that the subject isn't Jennifer, but that her father and his goons will do anything to get the mysterious photos back. Despite a promisingly quirky hero, Tremblay's plot is so full of holes that readers may wonder if they've suffered from one of Mark's frequent blackouts. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mark Genevich faces more challenges than your average South Boston private detective. He's narcoleptic, and his symptoms tend to interfere with hard-boiled investigation. One is automatic behavior-Mark goes to sleep, but his body acts like he's awake. He takes in a client and has no memory of the meeting, even as the man calls, days later, in great distress, asking him "Have you found it yet?" Mark sometimes suffers from cataplexy: a conscious paralysis, often triggered by stress of the large-men-trying-to-kill-you kind. Then there are the hypnogogic hallucinations: ultravivid dreams experienced during a half-awake state. Mark can't always tell hallucinations from reality as he pursues a case concerning a beautiful young woman, risqué photos, and her district attorney father. Well-crafted in a witty voice that doesn't let go, Tremblay's debut is part noir throwback, part medical mystery, part comedy, and thoroughly, wonderfully entertaining. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ11/1/08.]
A South Boston private eye's job performance is seriously compromised by his inability to stay awake. Ever since the car accident that disfigured him years ago, Mark Genevich has been narcoleptic. He can fall asleep in the middle of a conversation and wake up hours later with no idea, or a highly fictionalized idea, of what happened. This may sound funny, and sometimes it is, but apart from the constant danger of having his cigarettes burn down the office building that his widowed mother owns, Mark's tendency to nod off and hallucinate makes him a less-than-ideal candidate to find out who "stole" the fingers of Jennifer Times, the D.A.'s daughter. That is, if her fingers really were stolen, and if she really is the person who left behind a pair of indecorous photos she may or may not have posed for. A shamus who can't stay awake offers a wacky new take on the genre-not only does Mark have to solve the crime, he has to figure out what it is, and who hired him to solve it-but poses unusual challenges as well. Mark's meandering leaves little room for other characters or much of a mystery, and the enigmatic edge of everything he goes through ends up flattening the big revelations, when they come, as more of the same. Despite the Chandler parody that begins with the title and the opening paragraph, Mark is no Marlowe, and this debut resembles The Big Sleep mostly in the nonstop wisecracks it provides. Agent: Stephen Barbara/Donald Maass Literary Agency