As I said earlier Rob I love your novel and think it is going to sell well. Reminds me of the Mickey Spillane books. I loved the detailed character descriptions, they must have take a lot of time. Now for the critique, naturally these are my impressions Rob and may be wrong and are personal preferences at times, so take everything with a pinch of soup, er I mean salt.
Red, not sure if this is the right title. Will have to read whole book to decide. Love the start and especially the soup, because I eat that soup myself and it is colour oatmeal. Maria spent thirty years making that soup, Red liked no variations in the recipe, a no veg guy.
'Dropped his gaze' maybe wordy, try looked down. Into his mouth, may be too obvious. He spooned his soup is okay.
'Turned his attention', wordy, try Turned the TV down. I know this is nit-picking, ignore if you like.
3rd person narrator.
"I like the small details, inconsequential but interesting because they are true to every-day life like the skin on the soup when cold, and the descriptions like flecks of paint on canvas p3. plume of crimson - good, echoing of the walls -good, sick pastiche of modern art -excellent.
P5 'Please don't judge me.' You seem to be addressing the reader here, big no, no in writing, sorry to say. It can irritate your readers, it doesn't irritate me, but best not to.
I loved the paragraph describing the light outside his house on p6 It i so good I am going to post it:
The synthetic pink glow seeped in through my spindly plastic blinds, casting slashes across the room like prison bars. And this was not some jolly good-old-days yuletide hue, it was more the strip-light pink of a Vegas casino or the condemnatory blush of a backstreet sex shop." Posted under 'fait -use' :)
This sort of writing is fun reading, fun, fun, fun.
p7 like 'Ziggy Stardust' reference and 'less a room than a closet.' p10
2. Liked the dog story, true. Red explanation of death in reference to his own death was pure magic in my opine, good writing. 'Smelt like vomit - good so true, but prefer smelled unless American prefer smelt.
p17 did the clock read 8:52 am, was it a digital clock, or did it read 08:52 hours. No bigee, just wondering. Was the coffee in porcelain cups or paper cups, depends on the era.
The nicotine fingers sounded wordy to me, maybe: Fingers of L.H. stained yellow from smoking.
Redundancies or unnecessary: 'it did not' after 'modicum of comfort' and 'on it for me'.
Love the hook, cab driver buying an expensive house, how did he do it we ask.
Rutherfurd is a proper name, but is Rutherford more well known. Just asking.
'for' is missing with the a) and b p23
extra space found in p24 'much choice'
Is 'okay' better rather than 'OK' just asking.
Question tag. See it, agreed? not See it. Agreed.
handmade - one word
Covered my rent passage - huge exaggeration, jars, for me that is.
Don't enjoy the parentheses comment, they seem to be addressing the reader.
After all the nit-picking and personal preferences this is a thoroughly good read and yes, I would buy the book for a long plane flight. Reading the novel Shogun you will find many grammatical and misspellings and that sold 19 million copies world wide. I find your writing as good if not better and Shogun is a very good novel, as interesting and informative. And you have good readability.
Reading the first 3 pages was a pleasure and I am sure the overall plot is as good as your writing. I hope so because I will be reading the whole book starting Monday.
best wishes and get rich quick. :)