Two veterans work out their issues on the streets of Chicago via a Vietnamese call girl who becomes the object of their desires and dreams.
Mike Spence, like Buckman (Morning Dark, 2003) an ex-paratrooper from Illinois who has written a book, is steadily growing apart from his wife, Susan, who hates that he’s become a cop. Mike and Susan are obsessed with Annie, the Vietnamese woman whose apartment window looks into theirs; they correctly divine that she’s a prostitute. One of Annie’s customers is Donald Goetzler, a Vietnam vet, ex-cop and wealthy retired businessman who visits her regularly, mostly to spout pet theories and pontificate bitterly about how protestors sabotaged the war effort. Donald is the sharpest character here, with his unresolved resentment and justifications. Mike, meanwhile, can’t seem to figure out his life, and the author can’t seem to figure Mike out. Annie is just a blank slate. Plot developments are equally problematic. A character’s descent into madness is unconvincingly portrayed, and a pair of murders takes this attempt at modern noir to ludicrous extremes, well beyond the point of no return.
Some finely etched prose, diluted by poor plotting.