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Past Crimes

by Glen Erik Hamilton

Library Journal [DEBUT] Iraq War veteran Army Ranger Van Shaw, recuperating from wounds received while serving in Afghanistan, receives a letter from his grandfather Dono, with whom Van has not communicated for many years, asking Van to come home. He dutifully does so, but only moments after his grandfather has been shot-he finds Dono bleeding profusely on the kitchen floor, barely alive. Dono has lived a larcenous life of mostly genteel, nonconfrontational crime, but things have taken a suddenly dangerous, possibly fatal turn. Van gets the unconscious Dono to the hospital and sets out to discover who shot him and why. Armed with his military training (and some criminal skills taught him as a boy by Dono), Van follows a trail that leads deeper into his grandfather's life-and closer to uncovering what drove Dono to reach out after years of silence. Verdict In his outstanding debut, Hamilton has created a tough and intriguing character in Van Shaw, one that will appeal to fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series.-Vicki Gregory, Sch. of Information, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus A combat-tested Army Ranger returns home to investigate the shooting of his grandfather in this debut novel.Van Shaw is recovering from a recent combat injury when he receives a letter from his estranged grandfather Dono asking him to come home to Seattle. He doesn't know why his grandfather wants to see him, and the tension ratchets up when he arrives to find that Dono has just been shot by an intruder. During the police investigation, it becomes clear that Dono may not be an innocent victim because, as Hamilton tersely states, "Dono Shaw was a thief." The novel develops into a divided narrative split between the contemporary investigation into Dono's shooting and flashbacks to Van's experiences of being raised by a career criminal. Van was exposed to a felonious world from which he escaped by joining the Army after high school. Van discovers that Dono's last heist may have led to his shooting, and in the process, he's pulled back into his grandfather's criminal culture. To solve the mystery, Van must make use of the thief's skill set he learned from Dono and reconnect with his grandfather's old cronies in Seattle's underworld. Throw in a buried family secret, a love interest with an alluring woman and some missing diamonds, and you have the recipe for an exciting heir to the classic detective novel. A well-written modern rendition of the old-fashioned gritty noir. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list Van Shaw was brought up by thieves, who were a bit like an extended family. He displayed an alarming proficiency in the craft but decided it wasn't the life for him and escaped, as many do, by joining the army. After a tour of Afghanistan, he gets a summons from his old grandfather, who had been his coach in lawbreaking. Once home, he finds the old man wounded and near death, and Van's criminal skills must become detective skills as he tries to learn what happened. That means interacting at length with Grandfather's old cronies, and reader response to these long chapters of talk is going to be personal. Some may want more of what the author is awfully good at action. A warehouse break-in, with the old man guiding the kid's moves, is wonderful. And a battle on a yacht blends heightened language and dirty deeds to haunting effect, as when a vanquished opponent suddenly becomes two hundred pounds of wet cement. If he stays true to his talent, Hamilton is an author to watch.--Crinklaw, Don Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Hamilton's accomplished debut introduces Van Shaw, an Army ranger who returns home to Seattle after 10 years, in response to a terse message from the man who raised him, his grandfather Donovan "Dono" Shaw: "Come home, if you can." Dono taught Shaw to be like him, a skillful and careful thief, but at 18, Shaw left him after a bitter fight and joined the army. On arrival at Dono's house, Shaw finds him on the floor, dying of a gunshot wound. In his quest for vengeance, Shaw connects with Dono's old buddies Hollis Brant, a smuggler, and Jimmy Corcoran, a tech expert. Shaw has to figure out what Dono was up to, and he needs all his criminal skills and ranger training to do so. Hamilton details Shaw's upbringing in sharply honed flashbacks and surrounds him with a cast of intriguing characters on both sides of the law. Readers will be eager to see more of this tough, clever hero. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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