Created by Greg Rucka
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday. A six-foot-one female private eye with jet black hair (albeit frequently featuring multi-coloured streaks), a nose-ring, who tools around the Big Apple in a Porsche 911.
She also has a severe jones for hard candy, preferably Life Savers. But hey, that’s better than the heroin she used to shoot into her veins.
Anyone familiar with BRIDGETT LOGAN from her appearances as the on-again, off-again “what the fuck’s her problem?” girlfriend of Greg Rucka’s professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak in three previous books is going to be blown away by her first solo (well, mostly) adventure, 1999’s Shooting at Midnight, which collects the bits and pieces of her biography hinted at throughout that series, and reassembles them into an audacious hard-boiled tale that announced that then scrappy young author Rucka was more than ready to play in the big leagues.
It’s ambitious and audacious, hard and fast, an action-packed neo-pulp extravaganza that reads like a head-on collision between Trainspotting and the first Die Hard movie.
Not that this is just the literary equivalent of some special effects-laden piece of cinematic bloat. There’s also a lot of heart in the novel, as well. The evocative and surprisingly tender prologue — a series of vignettes that trace the hopes and dreams of a young teenage girl before reality and heroin addiction bring them all crashing down–may be the single best thing Rucka had written at that point in his career, a sly intro to the hardcore thrills to follow. As one of the characters says, later in the book, “A tale will be told here.” That’s putting it mildly.
Shooting At Midnight walks a fine line. It’s both a stand-alone work and, possibly, a pivotal book in the Atticus series. Its protagonist, Bridgett, first appeared as a supporting character in the Atticus stories (she refers to him here, somewhat mockingly, as “the Boy Scout”). But in this novel she proves she’s more than able to step into the spotlight on her own. She’s now a hotshot op working for Agra and Donnovan Investigations, a Manhattan-based detective agency.
She’s fiercely independent and she refuses to bow down before anyone. Including Atticus, who eventually does make an appearance in this tale, playing the well-prepared voice of caution and reason to Bridgett’s wild and idealistic impulsiveness. Yeah, Bridgett sounds like a bit of a cartoon at first, but Rucka collects the biographical bits and pieces of her life, hinted at throughout his earlier books, and reassembles them, placing Bridgett for once at a good place in her life.
And then she risks it all to save her teenage friend Lisa Schoof, a fellow former junkie, who’s charged with murder.
To say more right now is to give it away, but get this book now, and ask yourself: just how far would you go to save a friend?
In Bridgett’s case, the answer is simple:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This Rucka guy knows what he’s doing, and displays a sure hand and little fear when he sets down to write. Besides crime fiction, Greg’s written quite a few crime-oriented comics, including his acclaimed mini-series, Whiteout, a murder mystery with a female protagonist set in sub-zero Antarctica, and Stumptown (2009), a Portland-set series featuring another of his strong female characters, P.I. Dex Parios. He’s also has been known to pen a tale or two featuring a certain moody crimefighter from Gotham City who likes to dress like a giant flying rodent. In fact, he even helmed the flagship Batman book, Detective Comics, and saddled Bruce Wayne for a while with an unwanted bodyguard, Sasha Bordeaux. And back on the prose side, Rucka has also written a couple of books about retired Delta Force operator turned security officer Jad Bell. But calling any of his characters larger-than-life is not a dis in Rucka’s case — he’s a sharp and savvy enough writer that even some of his most audacious characters throb with a credible and immediately recognizable humanity. And plenty of kick-ass.
- “A palpable sense of danger drives the narrative…. A crime novel that… possesses a relentless and nearly irresistible force.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- “… an unflinching, kick-ass tale which announces that Rucka (and Bridgett) are more than ready to play in the big leagues. ”
— Kevin Burton Smith (1999, January Magazine)
- Shooting at Midnight (1999) | Buy this book
- Greg Rucka: He Writes Stuff
A good place to keep up on all things Ruckian.