Review Of Richard Godwin’s Mr. Glamour
If I had to use a single word description (which is impossible) of Mr. Glamour it would be, “unflinching.” Richard refuses to defuse the absolute reality of a psychotic killer’s trail and the horrible scenes from the nightmares such killers leave in their wake. Every cop (and combat soldier) I know will tell you that you are a very fortunate person if you have never witnessed the things they see almost every day. They say it’s impossible to soften such scenes, to forget them, that they leave a mark upon your soul that can never be erased. They also say that the only thing standing between them and putting their own gun in their mouths is the absolute need to catch the one who is responsible for those devastating acts and bring them to the light. Mr. Glamour is the closest I’ve read to the stories my friends have told me. That’s some powerful stuff, indeed.
More powerful still is the intent examination of extreme psychotic behavior present in the book. Beyond that, once you’re into it a bit, you realize that the work is also a savage, biting satire of those people who separate themselves from us — the ordinary, quotidian herd. Another of its themes is a Swiftian view of the class system present in even the most “modern’ of countries. Those are just a few of the purposes of this book.
But, finally, it’s a terrific, scary ride. The Glitterati are being murdered most gruesomely by an uncatchable maniac. The Armani crowd are dropping like flies. The police are running around in every direction. Amid a cast of seemingly dozens of characters there are: An ex-con fresh out of the slam, on the street, with a Luger in his pocket, looking for somebody. A obsessionally clean housewife sees faces in the fog and packs a box of knives in her car trunk. A male cop with a horrid scar disfiguring his face. A female cop with her own, internal, scars, acting out sexually driven solutions to her own bad dreams. A gigolo easy riding on the sly off the wives of wealthy men. Maseratis, Bow Wow bras, thousand dollar a pair crotchless panties dropping down the gilded rear ends of trophy wives everywhere you look. And, did I mention, murders most foul?
One hell of roller coaster. One of the few novels I’ve read that is very worthy of favorable comparison to James Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet.