Sunday, December 23, 2012
Lighthouse, by S.J. Rozan
This is the second appearance in this space by my friend S.J. Rozan in the last two months.
In the introduction editor Smith talks about something that happened at a Bouchercon a few years ago: a panel of writers were speaking about crime in New York City and a creative writing teacher complained that the kind of disrespect the panelists were showing for Staten Island was the reason her students there wouldn't write anything about the place they lived.
I happened to be in the audience. What Smith doesn't mention is that S.J., who was the first person to joke about Staten Island, not only apologized but offered to come speak to the teacher's class. Not only a great writer, but a real mensch.
But that has nothing to do with this story, which is about Paul. And as the first sentence tells us:
It sucked to be him.
Because ever since he was fourteen Paul shares his skull with The Guys, three space aliens who tell him what to do and give him monstrous headaches if he disobeys. The only way to quiet the voices in his head is to shoot heroin, and the only way to get money for that is by breaking and entering.
That wouldn't be so bad except that sometimes he meets someone in the house he is burgling and then he has to hurt them. And that's the bad part because The Guys like it. And they want him to do more, and worse.
In this story Paul is planning to bust into a Tibetan museum. And maybe, just maybe, he can find a kind of redemption there...