I don't really like mystery novels. At least, I thought I didn't. My mom gave me a Stephen White book. Why would I want to read about a psychologist and a cop? I've begrudgingly spent enough time with both of those professions. I didn't feel like reading a 500-page book about their little adventures.
Dr. Alan Gregory is White's protagonist. He's a psychologist who always happens to be in the middle of some sort of scandal. Sometimes it's a hostage situation, a murder or a missing person. Almost always, his patient-doctor confidentiality causes problems with his best bro Sam Purdy, a police officer. Gregory has a wife with multiple sclerosis, and White writes about her like he knows somebody with the condition. They've got a kid and two dogs together.
Who cares? Well, there's something different about White's books. They're set in Boulder. Diving into a Stephen White book is like visiting one of my favorite hometowns one page at a time.
Gregory doesn't just solve mysteries; he eats at Snarf's. He considers running the Bolder Boulder. He goes to McGuckin's for hardware stuff. When he drives to Denver, he complains about T-Rex (Is that still a thing?). He buys booze at Liquor Mart. When he wants to impress somebody, he takes them to The Kitchen. He likes shopping at the Sunflower Farmers Market. He goes hiking on Mount Sanitas and walks down the Pearl Street Mall. He thinks the Colorado Building is a stain on the Flatirons. Unfortunately, he loses points because he reads the Daily Camera, not the Colorado Daily.
You see, I don't live in Boulder any more. While you Boulderites deal with traffic, a crappy football team (Are they still crappy? I haven't paid attention), hippies, yuppies, raccoons and rent prices that make the Mir Space Station seem cheap, I deal with Chicago's crappy weather, gang shootings, constant ambulances running around and more gang shootings.
I haven't read his newest book, so I don't know how the doc feels about Google taking over, the fate of Tulagi's and Conor O'Neill's, legalized pot, the boom of the techie population, the bust of the poor student population and all the other crazy happenings in Boulder over the past few years.
Maybe in the next installment, Gregory will need a new sidekick — a hilarious happy-go-lucky writer buddy named Masey Leeman. Doc laughs at the devilishly handsome Masey's hilarious jokes in his weekly column and in real life. The Doc thinks Leeman's newest science-fiction novel is the coolest idea in ages and should be published by a major company.
In his next book, Doc and Masey go back in time and drink Volcanos at K's China. They buy ... um ... reading material at Fascinations and get food poisoning from Tra Ling's so bad that they hallucinate. They can go to the present and buy comic books at Time Warp. Pound PBRs at the Downer. Practice Brazilian martial arts at Easton Jiu Jitsu. Listen to DJ Petey spin.
Even if I — I mean Masey Leeman — don't make it into the next book, I know I'll read it and have a giant smile on my face like I just took a huge bite of a Half Fast 14-inch Big Apple sandwich.