Palm Springs Noir (Book Notes)
Palm Springs Noir is a collection of short stories edited by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett that explores the dark underbelly of the popular California desert oasis. Each of the stories is set in Palm Springs or the surrounding Coachella Valley and features characters who are grappling with their own personal demons.
The first story, Desert Justice by T. Jefferson Parker, follows a former police officer turned private investigator as he tries to solve the murder of a local socialite. As he delves deeper into the case, he discovers that everyone in the tight-knit community has secrets they'd rather keep hidden.
In Desert Song by Alex Espinoza, a young musician struggling to make it in the music industry is tempted by a dangerous proposition from a wealthy older man. As the two become more entangled, the musician begins to question whether the price of success is worth it.
Other stories in the collection include The Last Honest Man by Janet Fitch, in which a grieving widow seeks revenge against those she believes are responsible for her husband's death; The Cemetery Man by Ken Layne, which follows a cemetery caretaker who uncovers a shocking secret about one of the graves; and The Bends by Jason Skipper, in which a young couple's trip to Palm Springs takes a dark turn when they get involved with a drug dealer.
Despite the collection's focus on the seedy underbelly of the Palm Springs area, the stories are all expertly crafted and provide a nuanced look at the human experience. The collection also highlights the complex social and economic dynamics of the Coachella Valley, shedding light on a side of Palm Springs that is often overlooked by tourists and visitors.
SUMMARY: Palm Springs Noir is a must-read for fans of crime fiction, as well as anyone interested in the darker side of California's desert paradise. The stories are expertly crafted and offer a unique perspective on a place that is often viewed through rose-colored glasses.