Just got my copy of Tim Hallinan’s The Hot Countries, which I had on pre-order (purchased on Kindle). This is not a review – I just want to luxuriate in it. Look at this prose (this from the first page):
The dusty braid of Christmas lights in the tiny window has been there for decades and has been plugged in all year round. The original bulbs are long burned out, but not even the occasional, irregular replacements, glowing in faded red and green, can compete with the prisms of light and color created by the big beads of rain on the outside of the glass.
The texture of it! It’s a bath of sense-impressions, and you’re in there before you know where “there” is. Then the next sentence, the third in the three-sentence first paragraph, introduces Poke:
“Rafferty is looking at the prisms, intentionally facing away from the man who’s talking, and trying not to check his watch.”
Stylistically, as craft and art, this writing of the highest order.