“A very unusual mystery. The young and mentally disturbed protagonist, Harp, lives under the Santa Monica pier. One morning he wakes to find the dead body of his friend who has been stabbed to death. Harp is the main suspect and must try to find the real murderer in order to save himself. But poor Harp is not really capable of sorting through the clues. He must rely on his dead mother who luckily is still very much alive in his mind. It's quite intriguing to see how Harp and his mother work together. Harp, who's childhood education mainly came from Grimm's fairy tales and religious scriptures, is sad, and funny, at times, and rebellious. His mother is sharp and reprimanding and there are times when I really wanted to tell her to "shut up," which I'm sure is how Harp feels too. Part of what makes the story so great is all the interesting characters who live or make their living at Venice Beach (and who are either suspects or people who help Harp solve the mystery). Characters such as the Chainsaw juggler, The Ghost (who lives in a public bathroom stall), Speel the Sayer (who speaks in rhymes), Tex the pretend Cowboy, The Blind Shrimp (who has a cane, but isn't really blind, or is he?), Shoeless Joe (who has walked off the bottom of his shoes, but doesn't know it), the Growler (who was on the enforcer on the mental hospital ward where Harp was before he ended up on the beach). And who else, have I forgot anyone? You tell me.”
Zoe M wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013.