John Onoda's Reviews > Eye of the Cricket

Eye of the Cricket by James Sallis
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's review
May 07, 12

Eye of the Cricket expects The Reader to pay attention, and if you do it rewards you with a far better than average experience. What this novel does is put you in the skin of protagonist Lew Griffin, a black author, teacher, private investigator and wounded existential hero. You experience what it is like to live his painful, often sad and very human life. If you lead a tight and orderly life, as I do, stepping into his shoes is a jarring transition.

Author James Salllis creates fully realized characters and, more importantly, the down-at-its-heels world they inhabit; in this case, the poor and working class areas of New Orleans. Most of the African-Americans portrayed in this novel have been beaten down by life. Lew Griffin gets lost in his own troubles and makes some choices few traditional heroes would contemplate. I think that's the advantage of writing about a progagonist so far from the mainstream of detective literature. There are surprises not so much in the mysteries being solved, but in the way all the characters respond to them.

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