The Last Good Kiss, by James Crumley
This morning I absentmindedly picked up a book that has remained untouched on my bookshelf for many years, James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss, and was treated to one of the best (arguably the best) opening line in hardboiled crime fiction history:
“When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”
What a setup. There’s not a true fan of fiction in the world who wouldn’t read the next sentence, and it’s a killer one, too.
R.I.P., Mr. Crumley, your work lives on, and inspires.