Twin Private Investigators In 'This Body's Not Big Enough For The Both Of Us'

Aug 12, 2018
Originally published on August 12, 2018 4:35 pm
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Someone's been knocking off heirs to a ruthless drug cartel boss. Twin siblings Adrien Kimrean and Zoe Kimrean, ace private detectives, are on the case. If they can't crack it, a gang war could engulf California. But here's the skinny on those private eyes. They share the same set. In this noir thriller, brother and sister occupy one body. Edgar Cantero tells us about his new novel "This Body's Not Big Enough For Both Of Us."

EDGAR CANTERO: "This Body's Not Big Enough For Both Of Us" is, I hope, the first mystery starring A.Z. Kimrean, a private detective. They are a brother and a sister trapped in the same body.

(SOUNDBITE OF SANDY NELSON'S "LET THERE BE DRUMS")

CANTERO: They are a walking thunderstorm, I think. They are chaos incarnate. Each one got one half of the brain. Adrien is the rational, logical one. And Zoe is the creative, passionate one. They barely agree on solving cases. They both have equal claims on the body they're inhabiting. And they both have claims on the brain, too, so they both have a voice. They both have a mind of their own. And they are always pulling in different directions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SANDY NELSON'S "LET THERE BE DRUMS")

CANTERO: I think the Kimreans became private detectives because it's one of the few jobs that appeals to both of their tastes. Adrien, it is - of course, an intellectual, so a rational job where he can apply his logic. For Zoe, all this noir setting is aesthetically appealing. She likes being the private detective. She tends to think of life as a work of fiction itself. And she thinks that reality, thus the criminals she faces, too, should follow the rules of Hollywood cinema.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE VISCOUNTS' "HARLEM NOCTURNE")

CANTERO: With "This Body's Not Big Enough," it was about noir. It was to play with the tropes of the private detective in a fedora and a tank top smoking and having a drink in his dramatically-lit office. This kind of archetypes - the murky private detective, the femme fatale, the fat commissioner who says, yeah, give me your badge and your gun. You're not patrolling anymore. But at the same time, you know, I think I don't take myself seriously enough to do that. I always have to put jokes in. And the Kimreans in particular - they are like, you know - they justify any kind of jokes, really, so I feel really comfortable having them in the lead.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE VISCOUNTS' "HARLEM NOCTURNE")

CANTERO: One of the things I like about the Kimreans most is that they're great comic characters. At the same time, there is a tragic dimension to it which I wanted to explore, too. You have to think that this is how they are living all their lives, always conflicted. It makes them think they would both be better without the other one. But I think that one of the lessons that they will learn is that that's not how it works at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE VISCOUNTS' "HARLEM NOCTURNE")")

CANTERO: They are not just opposite. They are complimentary. And if they were alone, if they were on their own, they are not complete persons. They don't really function well. Neither of them do.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE VISCOUNTS' "I COVER THE WATERFRONT")")

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Edgar Cantero. His new novel is "This Body Is Not Big Enough For The Both Of Us (ph)." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.