Audible Colour

Fadeout by Joseph Hansen in the Dave Brandstetter mystery series exhibits like the other novels in the series a knack for the characterization of space. The descriptions of setting are remarkable for how they concisely capture activities.

For instance this pet shop is vividly memorable because of a slight crossing of the avian and the botanical

Birds surrounded her in shiny cages. Canaries, parakeets, finches. Noisy flowers.

The turn of phrase would be merely a nice touch in passing if it were not for a subtle reprise about a page later:

They went into the shop again. Hard, bright surfaces under glaring fluorescents. Bouquets of loud plastic flowers. A bubbling green fish tank.

It is almost as if the textual reprise invites the reader to turn down the volume and heighten the colour.

And so for day 438