The Do-Right (an old Southern term for prison) is Lisa Sandlin’s first mystery novel. Set in Beaumont, Texas, in 1973, it joins the growing subgenre of Gulf Coast Noir. Delpha Wade, returning to Beaumont after fourteen years in the women’s prison at Gatesville for killing one of the men who raped her on a dance-hall floor, needs a job as a condition of parole. Tom Phelan is a Vietnam veteran opening his practice as a private investigator. Wade has a business course certificate from Gatesville. Phelan needs a secretary and takes a chance on Wade. Together they ferret out unfaithful husbands, missing persons, industrial espionage, and a serial killer. The Do-Right is a satisfying and entertaining contribution to classic noir.To read the entire review click here. Thank you!
The quick-witted, determined Delpha Wade is a sympathetic character who uses improve skills and hard-won knowledge of human nature (“You can learn to lose curiosity”) gleaned on the inside to adjust to life on the outside. It is a pleasure to watch her slowly unfurling, like a time-lapse of a flower opening to the sun. “Delpha had promised herself patience. Get used to all the clear air around her, the streets stretching out, doors that open open open. Couldn’t come all at once. Come slow. She’d have to get used to wearing sky over her head.” Tom Phelan is a likeable guy learning to be a private investigator who turns out to be like a terrier with a bone when two and two don’t make four. “This case was dead as a crab in crude, but it wouldn’t stop skittering sideways.”
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Review: THE DO-RIGHT by Lisa Sandlin
I reviewed The Do-Right (Cinco Puntos Press) by Lisa Sandlin for Lone Star Literary Life! From the review: