The stories are connected by the excellence of Pyne’s writing and, beyond that, by a sense of existential dread; these stories portray an America in which nuclear annihilation is only the worst-case scenario in a world of ceaseless peril ... Pyne delivers his noir in vivid, often gorgeous prose ... Laughter and love can be found in Catalina Eddy, but finally it’s an ambitious panorama of lives lived in the shadow of that mushroom cloud. If the author offers us anything to cling to, it’s Riley, in her wheelchair, fighting to defend her pride and dignity, whatever the odds.
The three novellas, taken separately, are each well-crafted noirs. They've got the mood, the characters, the settings, and the stories that keep noir fiction alive. But taken together, Catalina Eddy is much greater than the sum of its parts. No, it's not named for me (that would be Catalina Eddie), but you're going to have to read almost to the last page to figure out what the title actually does mean. It's worth it; the revelation is breathtaking. Daniel Pyne really gets it — his language is deft, his storytelling skills spectacular. I highly recommend this book.
All three stories sustain noir conventions: smart, smart-aleck male main characters; women menaced by corrupt and powerful men; daunting weather; a staccato prose style; and an existential attitude. The stories end, mostly, happily (at least for the survivors), and ultimately hope is affirmed despite depressing meteorological conditions. Overall, three engaging and satisfying adventures. A worthy addition to the shelf, between 'noir' and now.