This week, Mulholland is proud to introduce our second reissue of a classic Dan Simmons suspense novel, DARWIN’S BLADE. Hailed upon publication by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as “a literary thriller like no other;” by the Denver Post as what might have happened “if Donald Westlake, John Irving, and Robert Parker had sat down to collaborate on a novel,” and by the Houston Chronicle as “an exciting novel full of shoot-outs, computer-aided investigations, duplicity and humor,” DARWIN’S BLADE is classic Dan Simmons in top form, now available in trade paperback for the first time ever. Start reading it right here! Then head out to your favorite bookseller or e-tailer for a copy of your own.
“A Is for Hole”
The phone rang a few minutes after four in the morning. “You like accidents, Dar. You owe it to yourself to come see this one.”
“I don’t like accidents,” said Dar. He did not ask who was calling. He recognized Paul Cameron’s voice even though he and Cameron had not been in touch for over a year. Cameron was a CHP officer working out of Palm Springs.
“All right, then,” said Cameron, “you like puzzles.”
Dar swiveled to read his clock. “Not at four-oh-eight a.m.,” he said.
“This one’s worth it.” The connection sounded hollow, as if it were a radio patch or a cell phone.
“Montezuma Valley Road,” said Cameron. “Just a mile inside the canyon, where S22 comes out of the hills into the desert.”
“Jesus Christ,” muttered Dar. “You’re talking Borrego Springs. It would take me more than ninety minutes to get there.”
“Not if you drive your black car,” said Cameron, his chuckle blending with the rasp and static of the poor connection.
“What kind of accident would bring me almost all the way to Borrego Springs before breakfast?” said Dar, sitting up now. “Multiple vehicle?”
“We don’t know,” said Officer Cameron. His voice still sounded amused.
“What do you mean you don’t know? Don’t you have anyone at the scene yet?”
“I’m calling from the scene,” said Cameron through the static.
“And you can’t tell how many vehicles were involved?” Dar found himself wishing that he had a cigarette in the drawer of his bedside table. He had given up smoking ten years earlier, just after the death of his wife, but he still got the craving at odd times.
“We can’t even ascertain beyond a reasonable doubt what kind of vehicle or vehicles was or were involved,” said Cameron, his voice taking on that official, strained-syntax, preliterate lilt that cops used when speaking in their official capacity.
“You mean what make?” said Dar. He rubbed his chin, heard the sandpaper scratch there, and shook his head. He had seen plenty of high-speed vehicular accidents where the make and model of the car were not immediately apparent. Especially at night.
“I mean we don’t know if this is a car, more than one car, a plane, or a fucking UFO crash,” said Cameron. “If you don’t see this one, Darwin, you’ll regret it for the rest of your days.”
“What do you…” Dar began, and stopped. Cameron had broken the connection. Dar swung his legs over the edge of the bed, looked out at the dark beyond the glass of his tall condo windows, muttered, “Shit,” and got up to take a fast shower. Continue reading ›