Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Susannah Screaming: Carolyn Weston


Casey Kellog and Al Krug are two homicide detectives working for the Santa Monica Police Department. Kellog is young and has a college education; Krug is older, cranky, and curmudgeonly... and very resistant to new ideas.  Their partnership has its ups and downs. Their latest case involves a hit-and-run death and centers around two witnesses to the crime, whose testimony does not agree. Paul Rees, new to town, was doing his laundry in an all-night laundromat; Susannah Roche is an actress and a free spirit.

This book was published in 1975 and was the second in a three book series about Kellog and Krug. The first book, Poor, Poor Ophelia, was published in 1972 and a new TV series, The Streets of San Francisco, was based on that book. The pilot for the series came out in 1972 also.

I always enjoy a police procedural, but this story also includes a closer look at the witnesses and how the crime affects their lives. That same scenario is also often used in The Streets of San Francisco episodes. We have watched episodes from the first two seasons of that show over the last two years, so I have seen a lot of them.

Kellog is an idealistic policeman. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, but he feels his job is important. On the other hand, it is not glamorous.

Kellogg is waiting in the squad room, dealing with paperwork:
The clock on the squad-room wall said eleven-thirty. He yawned to cover his unconscious groan. Another hour to go yet, at least, before he could possibly finish typing the day’s reports. They never told you at the Academy how much time you’d spend parked in front of typewriters. How many hours you’d waste waiting for developments. Or how many girls you’d lose because of the damned waiting.
The depiction of Santa Monica in the 70's felt realistic. Some reviewers noted that the story was dated. It does reflect the time it was written in, and I find that charming, not irritating. Of course I was around in the 70's, and maybe that is the difference. I often read books from previous decades to learn (or remember) what those times were like. Or to hear about them from a different perspective or point of view.

All in all, this book was a pleasant read and I will be following up with the other two in the series. Brash Books is releasing new editions of all three books.

Other resources:

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Publisher:   Brash Books, 2015 (orig. pub. Jan. 1, 1975)
Length:      224 pages
Format:      e-book
Series:       Casey Kellog and Al Krug, #2
Setting:      Santa Monica, California
Genre:        Police Procedural
Source:      Provided by the publisher for review via NetGalley

12 comments:

  1. Tracy, cheers for the mention, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I will try and read the other two at some point, time allowing!

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    1. Col, I know what you mean, time is hard to find. But these books are very short, which is a plus.

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  2. Very glad you enjoyed this, Tracy. I remember reading about it on Col's blog too. Now I definitely have to find time to read it myself.

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    1. I do hope you find time to read it, Margot. I think you would like it.

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  3. That cover just scared the stuffing out of me, am not reading it.

    This from the person who'd race through the living room when my (younger) sister would watch horror and disaster movies. I wouldn't take a shower after hearing about Psycho when I was a teenager -- I didn't even see the movie nor will I. (A bona fide scaredy-cat.) I don't read scary books although I love mysteries.

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    1. Kathy, the book isn't really as scary as the cover implies. But I am with you on Psycho. After seeing all the clips from that movie over the years, I would never see it all the way through. I might start at the beginning, and watch a few minutes of it, because I like Janet Leigh.

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  4. I remember reading Col's review and being intrigued - I hadn't realized there were books to go with the TV series. I do like the way Brash Books are republishing old favourites.

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    1. Moira, I agree, it is good that Brash book is publishing new editions of books like this. I had seen the credits for this author on all the Streets of San Francisco episodes we watched recently, but never made the effort to look them up.

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  5. TracyK: I never realized The Streets of San Francisco were inspired by a book. I thought Karl Malden and Michael Douglas created one of the best detective duos ever on T.V. Do the written characters resemble the T.V. characters?

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    1. Bill, the older policemen in the pair is not as nice as Karl Malden's character, and the two don't have that good a relationship, at least not in this book. The Michael Douglas character is pretty close.

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  6. Tracy, I'd not heard of the author, the book series or the TV adaptation until now. I'd, however, be interested in reading the three-book series.

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    1. I do think you would like the books, Prashant. Probably the TV series too, if it were available where you are.

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