Right from the off, I am going to say I loved this book.
I loved the main character, a journalist, Aloa Snow.
I loved the little bunch of old men she hangs out with, Tic, Doc and P-Mac, collectively known as the Brain Farm.
I loved the plot.
Right, so what got me so impressed with this book.
The story is based around the murder of a woman, a woman who lives a good life style with her husband, a paraplegic ex FBI Interrogator.
A man has been accused, a University Professor who is a poet. A bit of a strange bod which every piece of the investigation points at as being guilty. But he has one person on his side, a man he’d rather not be there at all, his father.
His father just happens to be Tic from the Brain Farm.
Tic and his friends decide to ask the unofficial forth member of the Farm to help them, Ink, aka Aloa Snow.
She is an investigative journalist and has worked with the Farm before.
This time the investigation takes her around San Francisco, where she is drawn into the world of drug users. This leads her into The Jungle, an area under the freeway where homeless addicts live in a tented village. Not a nice place but a place which has a code of ethics, a code which would usually keeps its occupants safe from the outside word. Usually.
She becomes involved with a strange Christian cult, The Church of the Sacrificial Lamb, a cult which would be unbelievable in most countries, but seems strangely believable in America.
The Police are convinced that Tic’s son is guilty and are busily building a case against him. Aloa is not immediately convinced of his innocence, but because of a feeling of duty to the Brain Farm she starts digging.
The deeper she digs the more convinced she is that the Poetry Professor is innocent. Not a nice man, but innocent.
This book is set in San Francisco during an unusual winter fog. The fog makes the city drab and unfriendly, and best of all, the ideal backdrop for the story.
Aloa is a great character, a bit off-the-wall in her methods, she takes chances and makes leaps of faith that would scare a cop, but she isn’t tied by staying on the right side of any procedures.
I think that’s what I liked about the book. Whilst Aloa does think outside the box, it is done in a way that I would like to think I would do it. Yes she puts herself in danger at times, but it’s never an anticipated danger, it’s just the next logical step, and she’s in trouble before she knows it.
I’m not sure how well known Peggy Townsend is in the UK, I have to admit this is the first book of hers I’ve read, and it’s the second in a series, but it won’t be my last. In fact I’ve just uploaded the first book, See Her Run,to my Kindle and it will be my next read.
If she isn’t that well known yet I have a feeling that once people start on this series she’s going to become one of our must read crime fiction authors.
Publishers: Thomas Mercer
Publishing Date UK: 14thMay 2019