Saturday, January 26, 2013

A very nice novel by Roger L. Simon

Roger L. Simon : Wild Turkey, 1974

Roger L. Simon, born in 1943, wrote several novels about Moses Wine jew detective, already the main character of The Big Fix (1973), winner of a novel CWA New Blood Dagger.
Wild Turkey, was written the following year, going back to 1974. Like all writers of a certain weight, Roger L. Simon, alternate activities novelist than as a writer of screenplays: years ago, for the screenplay of the film Enemies, co-written with the director Robert Mazursky, he was nominated for an Oscar.
The novel begins with Moses, detective started, but at the moment without investigation, pledged to take care of his sons, Jacob and Simon. While he is still asleep one morning, comes a wacky journalist, that Gunther Thomas, who wants to interview him at all costs: he makes so much noise, than Simon wakes in the bed, and starts crying. The fact is, Gunther, who hasn’t with him a photographer, promises to return in a few minutes with a friend of his, except that he takes 13 months.
When Gunther returns, Moses is temporarily out of work, and he must work full time for his children, as the ex-wife is on the road: in particular he must deal with Simon, the youngest of his sons, who does not do shit alone: so, Moses must also deal with cleaning the child.
Original start of a novel. This already introduces a note of all of its own.
Gunther arrives, along with a photographer as he was weird, and in the meantime, Moses undertook to clean the poop of Simon, who has made her in the diaper. Gunther asked Moses to accept a position on behalf of Random House and the RCA: Moses must find the evidence to fulfill the successful writer and screenwriter of a film about the Mafia, Joch Hecht, the accusation of being responsible for the death of Deborah Franck, successful journalist.
When Moses went to see Hecht the first time, he is committed to take material for a book about the sexual revolution, by his intercourse with two pretty girls, of course, covered only by a towel. Hecht who "worked hard" with the two girls is exhausted.
Deborah Frank was found murdered in her apartment, and since Hecht had a controversy, also quite violent, with her in the newspapers, the number one among suspects is Hecht. He seems to have spent the night having sex with Meiko, a chick who fights naked, with naked men, at the Kama Sutra Sexual Club
Meiko seems gone. Obviously, the inveterate reader has already realized that Meiko was killed. Wine, however, that the old story has understood (I think) goes to the Kama Sutra and after various vicissitudes, in fact he understands the madam is reluctant to talk.
Furthermore, what is the tears that Meiko, does not exist: Hecht calls all the girls he has sex, “Meiko”. The alibi crumbles, it does not exist.
 Moses goes to see Hecht, and found him dead, sitting on the toilet, with a hole in his temple and the blood dripping, drop by drop on the floor. In the typewriter is added the classic ticket suicide. But Hecht's wife, Nancy, who rings the doorbell of the house of Hecht, when he, Moses still does not know what it needs doing, she does not accept the suicide of her husband. Much more than from a file, they seem to have disappeared some papers.
At this point, begins the real investigation, which becomes more and more messed up. From Kama Sutra Sexual Club, you go first to the Jewish Mafia, then the Cuban: indeed, if a jew boss, accused Hecht, of having taken away information, which was then passed to the police, so as to incriminate him, then he comes to understand that behind the Kama Sutra Sexual Club there is a "League for sexual liberation" (those of 1974 are the years of Deep Throat by Gerard Damiano, and customs clearance of Porno Chic, proclamations in defense of freedom of expression and against censorship). And after the league it is the Cuban Mafia. The boss, Santiago Martin, wants the tapes. What tapes? Those who seek all. So Moses realizes that behind the Meiko and Hecht deaths, there are these tapes: now Cubans directly threaten him but especially his children and so Moses sends them with her aunt at Disneyland, where policemen there are several .
At this point,
it's a total, total mess: two dead sure (Debora and Joch) and another probable (Meiko), the Jewish Mafia, the Cuban mafia, tapes disappeared, and a league for sexual liberation, which always checks below: Cubans, and then other people want them by Moses, because he found Joch, and they think he took the tapes. But why these tapes are so important? We do not know. At some point, one would think that even in the general casino, the CIA makes his entrance, when you hear to talk about the Bay of Pigs Invasion in Cuba.
The CIA man, "El Jefe" you are then you know to be the nickname of the General Attorney of the State of California, Frank Dichter, who in those days sparked a real war against the League, brothels and cinemas in XXX -Movies. At this point, Moses, has on his book of suspects: the Jewish Mafia; the Cuban Mafia, which controls the area of ​​sex; an Attorney General who has had dealings in the past with gangsters and now he wants to make out them; and at the same time , there are also some henchmen to his ribs (one end buried by an avalanche of mud, water during a storm, while Nancy and Moses fled from the center of Cindy completely naked, trying to outrun the storm: they will end up in a shack, eating pork and beans and making love not only to keep warm). Oh yeah, I had not said: starts a love story between Moses and the beautiful widow.
I will not say how the novel ends, but only that: the murderer of Deborah, is not the Joch’s murderer ,the Joch’s murderer is not the Meiko’s murderer; and like at the final fireworks, they kill all or most of them, as in a film by Quentin Tarantino, and the tapes are found.
And you can also understand because the novel is called "Wild Turkey". In fact, in this stunning novel (cost me fifty cents on a stand), in which nothing is as it seems, and where everything has a hidden meaning, “Wild Turkey” also has a double even triple meanings.
In fact, the meaning does not refer only to the bird, as well as a famous Bourbon Whisky, guzzling Moses is that Gunther. But “Wild Turkey” also refers to Nancy, because like a wild turkey, she dies killed.
I believe that the title refers to her
And for people like me who chews a lot of stuff, Roger L. Simon can be seen that, to the core, absorbed the novels of the great writers of Hard-Boiled. In addition, the atmosphere is great, although a lot of strange and original, but then everything is in its place, like a giant puzzle. And the woman he loved dies.
The poor Moses, reminds me a lot, but in another context, the Arkady Renko by Martin Cruz Smith (who only had one wife and children to look after).
It’s a crime novel remarkable, with a steady pace and substantial current, and atmospheres film features (there is also the parenthesis in the studios, where he has found one of the bodies in a ventilation duct); describes in a very vivid and effective manner
, a lot of situations of those years. Nevertheless with  a its criminal background absolutely visionary who would have been, in that context, utterly believable.
Very nice novel.

Pietro De Palma

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