Eddie Evers is back! Or rather he never went away. The Hollywood Portal continues the story of my favorite electric detective; as he works to find answers to a number of questions surrounding a 50s-era bomb shelter which has somehow become a portal to another world. Not just any world; a version of Earth which didn’t make it through the cold war without shots fired in anger. E. E. King continues the witty dialog as Eddie still sees the world in greyscale, with occasional otherworldly incursions in full color. His deceased daughter is now sending him written notes from the beyond; usually timely warnings which, like most oracular warnings, are not understood until after the events occur. I wonder why oracles even bother!
We learn even more about the checkered past of Los Angeles, with nods to things most Angelinos would instantly recognize. Half of the fun comes from the inside references. My favorite section is:
“Most realtors I know are as honest as lawyers.”
“But not as smart,” Blake said.
“But not as smart,” I agreed.
The story isn’t all humor, as Eddie manages some significant personal growth in addition to tracking down the extra-dimensional villain(s). I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and look forward to her next installment.
E.E. King has written a classic detective story set in Los Angeles, but with several delightful science fiction twists. Eddie Evers, a former FBI agent tasked to child abduction cases, has come apart at the seams after his wife and daughter are killed in an auto accident. Eighteen months later, Eddie is still self-medicating with Jack Daniels. To make things worse, Eddie survives a direct hit by a lightning bolt and recovery requires even more Jack Daniels. The shock has left him seeing the world in grayscale, except for things which aren’t real; things like futuristic fruit hybrids, dead bodies, and the man who killed his family. The new vision helps his business as a private investigator, working for local police and the FBI. A society of scientists are also interested in Eddie’s newfound skills and aren’t shy in their pursuit. Eddie, with his electric cat Max, has to unravel a series of murders at some of Los Angeles’ best private schools and the truth is even more unusual than Eddie’s backstory.
E.E. King has really knocked this one out of the park, the persona of Eddie fits the wisecracking norm of the detective story while being wholly at home with the science fiction aspects of the story. I especially appreciated all of the witty observations about life in Los Angeles and its history. The tension rises relentlessly as you rush for the final chapter and a strong ending. If you like well-written detective stories and science fiction, look no further, this is a good one!