I just finished Broken Glass Waltzes. It is a really good book in spite of the fact that it does something I normally do not like: it took forever to get to the plot … the crime.But, like with Juarez Dance by Sam Hawken, the book is so interesting that I didn’t care. So, yes, I prefer it when a crime novel presents the basic plot right away, when it puts the protagonist in grave jeopardy by the end of the first chapter, but, apparently, it is not a hard and fast rule.
Moore’s protaganist is a 30ish drummer for a blue-collar metal cover band in Cincinnati. He lives alone, he drums, he gets laid ALL THE TIME after his gigs at the various working glass bars on his band’s circuit, he practices, he rides around town in his tricked-out Harley Trike, and he follows the Reds. And, like Juarez Dance (which went on and on about the daily life of a hit man before the plot really got going), somehow Moore makes all of this really fascinating and compelling even though things don’t really kick into gear until about half-way through.
Moore, through his narrator, says just about everything that can be said about the life of a blue-collar drummer who loves the Reds. The rehearsals, the interaction with the other band members, the economics of the semi-successful mid-west cover band, the clubs, the girls and the sex, the town of Cincinnati as well as the neighboring suburbs and towns in Ohio and Kentucky just a few miles away. (Did you know Kentucky was just across the river from Cincinnati? I didn’t.) This writer captures a person and a place with great precision, detail, and poetry, and I loved it.
So yes, near the beginning the drummer meets the person who brings some seriously horrible shit into his life, and I just knew that things with this person would just get more and more horrible — and I was not wrong. Slowly but surely, the book travels to very very dark territory and very bad things do happen — do they ever.
So, what I am trying to say is that this is a book worth reading for several reasons. It is a really good crime book, but, also, it is a great novel about character and place that should not be missed.
(Oh, also it is very well-written with lots of great quotable, almost throwaway lines that I kept wanting to share on Facebook because I was so excited but none of it seemed to work out of context.)