Sentence: It doesn't take long to wake up with there's a gun
in your face.
Nelson Roan demands that Child Protective
Services agent Foggy Moscowitz find his 11-year-old daughter
Etta. He's not the only one looking for her. It seems Etta
has perfect memory and knows something she shouldn't. How
do you convince a bunch of bad guys that not even Etta doesn't
know what that is? It's up to Foggy to find her and keep her
safe until he can figure out how to neutralize the danger
to Etta permanently.
Talk about an effective hook. This
is not a book where you read a paragraph for a quick try,
planning to sit down with it later. This is a book where you
read the first sentence and keep reading. The case is intriguing.
One wants to know where it's going, and the plot twists start
very early on.
DePoy not only captures your attention,
but his unique descriptions bring the characters to life--"His
skin was grey, and his eyes were the saddest song you ever
heard, times ten." His use of language is wonderful--"The
camp seemed to have a life of its own. It wasn't just the
leftover smells, cook fires, swamp herbs and tobacco. It was
like an eerie echo was still reverberating around the concrete
walls. Like old conversations were still hanging in the air.
Like ghosts were wandering free."
As for Foggy, DePoy informs readers
of who he is, his background, and how he got where he is and
eventually, the meaning if the book's title. Foggy's philosophy
may make one think--"I was always a big believer in is.
Not should be, or ought to. Is. That's very powerful, because
it is the only reality. Whatever it is you were doing, that
was the only thing that truly existed. Everything else was
a fantasy." Foggy also makes an insightful self-observation--"To
me that was the weird thing about having a reputation as a
good guy. Too many people expected me to be good. Which I
wasn't especially. I was just a guy trying to make up for
what he'd done wrong." A nice explanation of the title
helps one to understand Foggy better.
DePoy's characters, on both sides
of the law, are far from ordinary, which is a large part of
the appeal. They are quirky, interesting, capable and surprising.
His children are refreshingly smart, capable, and astute--"You
know you're too smart for your own good, right?' I suggested.
'Oh, yes,' she said. That's my main problem." He really
does write some of the best dialogue.
There is a nice element of mysticism.
It doesn't overwhelm the plot, but instead, it adds another
interesting layer too it. In a way, it balances the bad stuff.
The turns this story takes are more dizzying than a state
fair teacup ride. Not just any author can come up with a plot
point to destroy a mobster and his business via a phone call
"Sidewalk Saint" is a fun,
twisty book filled with quirky, unique characters. There's
violence, but minimal on-page death, but the story also gives
one plenty of ideas to consider.