Author: CiCi McNair
Have you ever bought an expensive box of organic eggs and returned home to find one cracked? It doesn’t set right and it’s slimy – you feel shortchanged. 11 perfect eggs – and one smashed one. That’s how I felt reading “Detectives Don’t Wear Seatbelts” by Ci Ci McNair. The memoir follows wild, crazy, and impetuous CiCi McNair who has traveled all over the world with different dangerous men – and on her own, until she hooks up with the next crazy guy and more exotic locale, with only a post office box as an anchor.
CiCi wakes up one morning and decides to be a P.I. – a private investigator. Muted, in the background, floats the image of her highly abusive father and non-protecting but fun mother – and why she enters the world of men and how she relates to them – or doesn’t. Her P.I. jobs come with kindly father figures or “rough tough guys from the burg.” (Sounds like Stephanie Plum, the bounty hunter!).
I found myself wondering at some point at the male stereotypes and CiCi’s lack of any self awareness. While CiCi has amazing abilities, she lacks structure, is impetuous and driven, taking risks that none of the “guys” will take and then wondering why she is in the midst of danger and they are waiting out in the van to pick her up. The memoir is well written and a fascinating read, but I kept thinking of “The Imposter’s Daughter” by Laurie Sandell (See Broad Z’s review of this book in Older Posts on The Review Broads) and the difference was that Ms. Sandell balanced her seemingly crazy behavior and life with a profound self awareness which leant balance and poignancy to her book. That dimension eludes us in Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts. So while I enjoyed the danger and escapades of CiCi’s adventures, admired her persistence and enjoyed the excellent writing, I felt no closure or closeness – no sense of transcendance or self learning in this novel which flat-lined for me. I had no idea who CiCi really was – and I had a gut feeling that neither did she.
Still – a great read, compelling and honest although a little narcissistic, grandiose and short sighted on CiCi’s part (who is now the head of her own large P.I. agency). I just expect more from a memoir.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
“Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts” can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.63.
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing our review copy as well as copies to give away.
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