Created by Philip DePoy
FLAP TUCKER came home from Korea, as Tom Waits once said, with a "party in his head." While serving his country, he had his ear drums popped in some God-forsaken place called Teh Peth. He lay paralysed for two days, up to his neck in swamp water, part of his scalp slowly being eaten away by mosquito larvae. The pain was intense. An experience like that tends to change you. Flap had to take his mind out of his body and put it somewhere else - in this case the mind of a passing egret. It was the only way to survive. The egret attracted the attention of some passing GI's and Flap was saved.
Ever since, Flap's mind's been able to do some remarkable things. He can make connections, see visions, dream dreams and, more importantly, find people. So when Loony Lenny looses his wife, two strippers end up dead in the trunk of a car and a Chinese restraunter is worried about Tibetan artefacts and the fate of the world, Flap realises there's a lot more going on than the rent.
At times Flap's debut, 1997's Easy, reads more like Death and the Compass by Jorge Luis Borges than a conventional P.I mystery, whilst at other times it reads like a pastiche of the genre. However ,there's an edge to Flap that makes him engaging and, ultimately, a classic loner P.I. He belongs to the tradition that deconstructs the genre and questions its tenants but in doing so tries to make its appeal modern. Does he succeed? Who can tell? But it sure is great fun.
Contributed by Peter Walker.
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