Ron Rosenbaum

LA Scenes (1): A Great Airport Novelist

The most interesting thing about my flights to and from LA was the fact that everyone on the plane was reading Michael Connelly. Well the second most interesting thing. The most interesting thing was that the airport bookstore chain, Hudson News, had copies of my book (have I mentioned it?) %%AMAZON=0375503390 The Shakespeare Wars%%, on their shelves. To be an airport author in even a very minor way: something I’ve always wanted.

But seriously just about everyone else was buying and reading Michael Connelly novels. Buying hardback versions of his new book %%AMAZON=100316734950 Echo Park%%, reading paperback versions of his earlier ones, my fave being The Lincoln Lawyer. Myself I bought %%AMAZON=0446611638 Lost Light%%.

And the thing that’s galling is that the guy is good! He ‘s not just an airport novelist. He hits notes that you don’t expect to be hit in inflight media. I finished the first couple hundred pages going east to west coasts, the second couple hundred going west to east, and I was grateful. Loved his feel for LA. Loved his praise for Kate Mantalini, the restaurant I’d eaten lunch in the day before my return flight. I loved the way his detective takes Laurel Canyon Boulevard into the Valley and stops off at DuPars for coffee and pancakes.

His novels are cop and ex cop thrillers but they’re smart, complex, written with clarity and edge and they feed my lifelong LA romanticism which, after my eighth re reading of Chandler’s The Long Goodbye needed supplementation.

He inspired what I hope will be a series of LA scene posts to follow.