Monday, April 9, 2012

The Ick Factor

By Reece Hirsch

How would I definitely not want to die?   Mystery and crime fiction is full of hard deaths, but the one that immediately sprang to mind when I read the question is found in the first chapter of Colin Harrison’s excellent The Finder.

Two young Mexican women who work for a cleaning service have parked their Toyota in a parking lot by the beach in Brooklyn to drink jug wine and play the radio.  They’ve unwittingly been helping a third woman steal corporate secrets from the trash cans of Manhattan office towers.

A truck pulls up close beside the Toyota on the driver’s side so the door can’t be opened.  On the passenger’s side, a man appears and holds that door closed.  Another truck, a garbage truck, pulls up behind the Toyota and a chain is attached to the rear bumper.  In front, the car’s tires are wedged against a curb.

The Toyota’s sun roof is smashed and a pipe from the garbage truck slides into place as raw sewage pours through the sun roof, filling the car.  Being trapped inside a car and drowning in raw sewage?  That’s a very bad way to go.  Drowning is horrible and being trapped in an enclosed space makes it worse, but I think it’s the extreme ick factor that really caused that scene to stick with me.

No one knows how they’re going to meet their end, but even if I were to die in some Final Destination-style Rube Golberg chain of calamitous events involving a table saw, a live power line, a nail gun, a roller coaster and a rabid fruit bat, I could look back from the afterlife, and say to myself, “Well, it could have been worse.  It could have been Chapter 1 of The Finder.”


Meredith Cole said...

What a nasty death! <> You're right, I think almost anything else would be better, Reece.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I had the misfortune of reading that while eating breakfast. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!

Michael Wiley said...

I'm with you on this, Reece: that would be a very ugly way to die.

Reece said...

Sue Ann -- Sorry to ruin your breakfast!

Meredith and Michael -- Just be glad that I spared you all an excerpt with more of the gruesome details!

lil Gluckstern said...

I just bought your book (I'm a little slow), and I sure hpe there is nothing like that in there.Yuuuuuck!

Reece said...

Hi Lil -- Thanks for picking up THE INSIDER! I can assure you that there is nothing in there that is nearly that icky!