Friday, April 24, 2015
PAST CRIMES by Glen Erik Hamilton
With his debut novel the author introduces us to a new hero as tough and savvy as they come - Van Shaw is a combat veteran recovering from random shrapnel injuries when he receives a letter from his grandfather, Dono, simply saying, “Come home if you can.” Van understands the “if you can” coming from his grandfather to mean please, a word not often used by Dono, and why now? The two had been estranged for a number of years and Dono was a thief, albeit a gifted one.
Van had been raised by Dono to follow in the old man’s footsteps and he was an apt pupil. But at the age of 18 he’d left that life behind him by joining the Army. Now, after ten years he returns to find that Dono has been shot and is near death. Outside of the fact that due to the known tension between the two men he might become the primary suspect Van wants to find out who would shoot Dono and why. In order to do this Van must reconnect with Dono’s old cronies and use every bit of skill he had learned as a criminal not only to find the shooter but to survive.
With Seattle and its waters as a backdrop the story develops in two narratives - the current investigation into Dono’s assault and memories of Van’s time as a lawbreaker. In order to solve the mystery Van must discover what Dono has been doing that might lead to this. Along the way we meet some exciting ancillary characters who may be a bit nefarious but still don’t want Dono dead. Now, mix in a bit of romance and a cache of diamonds and you have a stay-up-all-night thriller.
Kudos to Glen Erik Hamilton for a well crafted thriller, and looking forward to more.
- Gail Cooke