Sunday, November 14, 2010
Detectives Don't Wear Seatbelts - Book Review
Detectives Don't Wear Seatbelts - True adventures of a female P.I.
By Cici McNair
Hachette Books Group 2009
This is the autobiography of Clarissa McNair of Mississippi, a moneyed family. She had no idea what she wanted to do when she left college.So after she graduated, Cici moved to California trying to break into acting. When that failed, she bummed around Europe and Asia for several years, worked for the Vatican radio, worked for the CBC in Toronto and even got married to a Canadian. She was divorced within a year. By 1994 Cici was back in New York City trying to become a private investigator. She liked the idea of looking for missing persons.
In the PI business people who search for missing persons are called Skip Tracers. They are tracing the movements of people who skip town. I also considered doing this job, until I realised that you have to cold call friends and neighbours of the missing person and spew out a whole lot of lies in a convincing manner to get the friend/neighbour to give you some information. I am not good at telling lies.
Eventually after calling all the PI's in New York begging for a job, most of them said NO and then told her to NOT work for Vinny Parco - because he was poison. Cici ended up working for Vinny Parco. He was the only person to give her a chance. She had no experience, no references, no car and no apartment. But Cici was a natural at the job. Her sucess rate in locating missing persons was higher than most PI's.
Cici describes various different methods of locating the mark. She describes lies and stories she used, when on the telephone, some of these stories she had to make up off the top of her head. She describes what it is like to be on a long stakeout. The information in this book is interesting but eventually Cici's narrative and the stories becomes repetitive and somewhat boring. You can only do so many stakeouts and searches in a variety of different ways.
Cici now owns her own detective agency in Philadelphia. It is called Green Star Investigations.
I gave up reading by chapter 30 (out of a total of 43 chapters).