The Science of Paul by Aaron Philip Clark
From the opening paragraph to the unexpected ending, Aaron Philip Clark presents a gripping portrayal of Paul Little, an ex-con struggling to escape his past and the survive the dangers of a hot summer in Philadelphia. Mr. Clark’s description of the city and the various subcultures within Philadelphia left me experiencing, almost smelling, the very disparate environments within the city. In this noir novel the cops are racist when they aren’t corrupt. Paul would make a convenient scapegoat for any or all of the murders that happen around him. Guilt about his past will not allow him to accept the love of a good woman. Everyone he meets has a hidden agenda, which does not include looking out for Paul. His attempts at helping others get him into ever deeper trouble and even more closely involved with a stone cold killer. The prose is powerful and poetic. I highly recommend this book.
Kane by Steve Gannon
This novel introduces an interesting and compelling character, Dan Kane, a homicide detective in the Los Angeles Police Department. The author created a likeable but flawed character and gave him a family, which rounds out the main character. Dealing with a possible serial killer at work is balanced with having to handle problems at home. When we meet Kane he is mourning the death of one of his children. He realizes he has neglected his wife and children just as demands at work escalate. He feels pulled in several directions at once and there are no simple solutions to his problems. This is an author and a character well worth following.
What did you read over the holidays that you can recommend?