DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER by Elizabeth Zelvin

deathBruce Kohler, part time temp worker and full time drunk, wakes up in detox in the Bowery one fine day near Christmas.  He makes ‘friends’ with another bleary-eyed alcoholic who turns out not to be a penniless bum but the drunken scion of a wealthy family who has pretty much turned their back on him.

Fortunately, our guy has a couple of really really good friend,  whom he hasn’t seen much of because he can’t stay sober and they can’t take it any more.  But this time, it looks like it might stick.   He is roomies with the wealthy dude, and one night, after coming back to detox from a pass, the roomie becomes violently sick, and eventually dies right there in the room!.  Our boy, due to be released the following day, is pretty distraught, as you can imagine, but is determined to hang onto his friends and his sobriety.

He gets a job, but can’t get over the death of his friend, which he is coming more and more to believe was not from natural causes, and decides to investigate it, partly as a means of keeping from being bored and falling off the wagon again.  He is aided by his two friends, and this mystery, built around recovery, AA and the lifestyle of the career alcoholic turns out to be pretty darn good.

Lots of stuff in the book about how AA operates, drinking, recovering, enabling, and the fragility of sobriety.

Really good book that builds some intricate and likable characters, has a decent mystery, and a whiff — just a whiff — of perversion.

 

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