Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Catching Up On Crime: EAST OF A by Russell Atwood (1999)


East of AEAST OF A started with a bang, a near pitch perfect opening which looked to have set the tone for the remainder of the book; equal parts action and humour with a touch of character development thrown in to allow an immediate connection with the down-on-his-luck PI Payton Sherwood.

Coming to the aid of a young women who’s being roughed up by a couple of thugs, Sherwood steps in only to be handed a beating and then have his watch stolen by the very woman he was trying to save.

From there the plot follows Sherwood as he searches for this mystery women in order to retrieve his stolen goods. What he discovers is a deeper seeded mystery involving the theft of a new street drug, murder, and criminal activity that he didn’t sign up for.

EAST OF A follows a tight script and is much improved on the other Payton Sherwood novel I read published by Hardcase Crime, LOSERS LIVE LONGER. I though the pacing was right on par and the course of the investigation organic and not without justification.Yet EAST OF A just didn’t live up to that opening billing and the ending did feel too abrupt. That said I’ll be sure to search for more books featuring PI Payton Sherwood if they’re out there.

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