Is there anything wrong with "Past Crimes" well sure. Glenn Erik Hamiltion in this book is not F. Scott Fitzgerald, and neither Thomas, nor To..Show More »m Wolfe, and this isn't the great American novel. BUT... it is a twisty, clever, even cunning reverse-engineering of a caper-heist by characters with Damon Runyon twinkles in their Irish eyes. Plus, Hamilton gives fiction writers a lesson in how-to dazzle through plot-supporting flashbacks.
It is a nifty story of tarnished denizens who you'll root for from page one. Yep, I liked it. A lot. I'm off to buy my next Glen Erik Hamilton book which I hope R. C. Bray reads as engagingly as Jeff Harding did this one.
1 Reader R.C. Bray starts off with an over-the-top tough guy snarl leaving nowhere to go but down. Wha..Show More »t happened to the subtle interpretation of Jeff Harding in introducing us to Van Shaw and his crew in "Past Crimes"? 2 Do NOT attempt to listen to this book if you haven't first heard "Past Crimes". This isn't a sequel, it's Part 1b. 3 Complications are distractions, not twists..
Sadly Glen Erick Hamilton is a one hit wonder. Everything in the first book that made the protagonist Van Shaw intriguing is gone in hopes, I suppose, of creating a single dimensional tough guy action hero. He's become a bobble-head action figure. The first novel reverse-engineered a clever caper through the voices of a slightly looney crew of Irish/American rascals. This thing abandons all of that delicate plotting and characterization to maybe snag a movie contract? A BAD movie contract. I'd call Hamilton's characters one-dimensional only because I can't think of a lower number... .5 dimensional? .2 dimensional? Or maybe minus numbers dimensional?
It takes about 700 hundred hours of sucky anti-climatic epilogue for Hamilton to end this thing. But, worst... is that Van Shaw becomes duller than the shine on an indigent's shoes.
This is the first novel I ever pre-ordered as a result of my enthusiasm over "Past Crimes". It will become the last Erik Shaw novel I buy unless I develop throbbing insomnia. Even that will not make me again listen to R.C. Bray unless his work comes favorably pre-reviewed by reviewers I trust.
Save cold hard cash by skipping "Cold Hard Winter."