The Emerald Cat Killer (2010) was a really good read for me, but not for the usual mystery / detective series reasons. Not that it’s bad as a detective story: no! Far from it!
This is a solid work by a seasoned writer — there’s just more to this book than a caper and this is why I like it so much.
Well, that and the fact that I love discoveries like this one.
First things first, I have to tell you that I stumbled upon this author at Dollar Tree, yes: Dollar Tree. The Emerald Cat Killer, as a hardback mind you, was there on the shelf along with some other hardback NYT bestsellers, all being sold for a buck.
That’s right: one dollar for this sweet find last week here in San Antonio. (For more on that bargain buy, check out my post on recent book finds at the dollar store, here).
I grabbed it up on whim. One dollar, right? (Richard Lupoff was unknown to me; I’ll be reading more of his stuff.)
Here’s the thing that really caught my interest about The Emerald Cat Killer — aside from its intriguing hook of film noir references (which gave me a list of some movies I want to see on Netflix): Lupoff understood the dynamic between a narcissistic parent, her child, and her spouse very well. Very well.
Rebi is a great character, because she provides a wonderful example of what can happen to the offspring of narcissistic mothers when things all go the wrong way. The bad way. The dark and evil road that is always an option for these kids. Her mother, her father — if you have dealt with narcissistic parent psychologies, then you’ll recognize the expertise of these characterizations.
As for the mystery itself, it was enough to keep me up late reading so I could finish it. The plot moves fast. The detective team of Hobart Lindsey and Marvia Plum is sweet and endearing, and I’ll be catching up on their love story by going back and reading the series starting with The Comic Book Killer.
Sometimes you get lotsa plot and shallow characters. Sometimes you get characters with depth and little if any plot. Here, The Emerald Cat Killer gives you both, with subtle humor ribboned all through everything.
The Emerald Cat Killer is worth your time to read IMHO.