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Download The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death [Library Binding] epub

by Paul Michael Garcia,Charlie Huston

When a beautiful woman asks for his help cleaning up after her brother has gotten in trouble, every cell in Webster Goodhues brain is telling him to turn her down.
Download The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death [Library Binding] epub
ISBN: 1433257513
ISBN13: 978-1433257513
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Paul Michael Garcia,Charlie Huston
Language: English
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged library edition (January 13, 2009)
ePUB size: 1607 kb
FB2 size: 1498 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 950
Other Formats: mobi rtf lit lrf

I'll be honest, I bought this book just because of the title. It sounded different and piqued my interest. It's also the first book of Charlie Huston's that I've read. Once I discovered the theme of the book I became even more interested in it. There is much more to the story then just the morbid ideas that the title might imply. One aspect I found very nice about this book is since I grew up in Sothern California, I am familiar with most of the locations mentioned in the book and was able to create a very detailed mental image of the scenes as I read. Overall a very good read.
At the start of Charlie Huston's The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, Web Goodhue has descended from grade-school teacher to full-time smart-aleck and drain on society, spending pretty much all of his time hanging out in his best friend's tattoo parlor and wising off to anyone in earshot. And once he manages to find work, things only get worse. After taking a job with Clean Team, a trauma-cleaning crew that picks up the messes of suicides, murder victims, and dead shut-ins, Web quickly finds himself personally tied up with the seductive daughter of a wealthy suicide victim with some sketchy business interests. He ends up being forced to put aside his all-consuming sarcasm and self-pity long enough to navigate a plot involving smuggling, murder, and, of course, almonds, along with an open war between his employer and a less-principled rival crew. The story follows its improbable (and at times downright unlikeable) quasi-hero through a series of violent confrontations and acerbic verbal sparring matches, all of which manage to be entertaining even if they don't all contribute much to the plot.

The book takes place in the Los Angeles area, but like previous works of L.A.-centered noir (The Big Lebowski being a prominent recent example) it's less concerned with wealth and glamour than with the seedy underside of the area and the outsiders who inhabit it. Huston has a knack for crafting cleverly sardonic dialogue, along with capturing the grisly details of a crime scene and the occasionally horrific methods in which people can die. He also manages to create a sizeable gallery of damaged, vulnerable characters trying to live with the baggage of their personal histories--none more so than Web himself, who it turns out was driven from his teaching job by a rather significant tragedy--but he tends to have a hard time finding enough for them to do. In a textbook illustration of the limitations of the first-person narrative voice, the second half of the book devotes a tad too little space to the supporting cast and a tad too much to the interactions of Web and the cartoonishly stupid and self-centered half-brother of his client.

That being said, the book does go a bit deeper than its lurid premise may initially suggest. Amidst the reams of hilarious lines and explosions of violence, TMAoEASoD provides an insightful and occasionally poignant examination of alienation, family dysfunction, and the legacy of prior traumas. Even at its most inconsequential, it manages to be a brisk and addictive read, which is worth a few points on its own. Those who object to violence, profanity, or scatological details may be put off, but for everyone else TMAoEASoD should provide at least a few hours' entertainment.
First things first, Charlie Huston is one of my favorite authors. His (Henry Thompson) trilogy Caught Stealing: A Novel,Six Bad Things: A Novel &A Dangerous Man: A Novel is one of my favorites and "Six Bad Things" is one of my favorite books.

"The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death" is pure Charlie Huston, but it didn't floor me like his other work. I enjoyed his other stand alone novel The Shotgun Rule: A Novel too, even it was a little better then this new one.

This book is CSI meets noir meets pop culture. The usual great characters and the as always great writing, but the overall story line just did'nt suck me in. Web, Po Sin, Soledad, Gabe & Jaime are all unique, but I really wouldn't want to see any of them in another book.

If you have never read any Charlie Huston, I don't recommend you start with this one. Charlie already has a new book on the way, its called Sleepless: A Novel, the synopsis sounds incredible, I'm definitely looking forward to reading that one.

Highly recommended reading for serious Huston fans & anyone else looking to break away from the normal cookie cutter noir thrillers!