If my grandfather's letter had stopped at the comma, I would have tossed it in the trash... only the last three words mattered. If you can. That passed for please, in the old man's way of talking... If you can scared me a little.Meet Van Shaw - soldier, ex-con - as he returns to his native Seattle after a decade's self-imposed exile. Answering voices from his past, he finds a whole heap of trouble, and himself the prime suspect in the brutal attack on his grandfather. Drawn back into the violent, high-stakes life he tried to leave behind, he has to try and see right from wrong amid the secrets and resentments of those he was once closest to.Think Boston crime think Dennis Lehane, think Washington DC think George Pelecanos, think LAthink Michael Connelly - and now, think Seattle think Glen Erik Hamilton
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton. Past Crimes is published in paperback by Faber & Faber on 5 March 2015, and is the author's debut novel.
Tar abhaile, mas feidir leat.
This was the last sentence in the letter that Van Shaw received from his grandfather Dono. Written in Irish Gaelic, the language of Dono's childhood, the words after the comma said so much.
Come home, if you can.
Van Shaw hasn't been home to Seattle for many years, over ten years in fact. When Van left to join the US Army, he didn't leave on the best of terms. Dono was a career criminal who taught Van every trick of his trade. Van turned his back on a life of crime and has his career in the Army has taken him to dangerous places, he's seen and experienced many things.
'If you can' are the three words that tell Van that Dono is serious. Despite hearing nothing for tenyears, he knows his grandfather well enough to realise that something is not right and his fears are proved correct when he arrives at Dono's house. Dono is seriously injured, he's been shot, and whoever shot him has only just left the house.
Van is determined to find out who shot Dono, and why. Nowadays Van is a law-abiding citizen, serving his country, but his old skills are still there, and nobody knows how Dono operated better than Van.
What follows is a story that catches the reader up very quickly. Van gets caught up in the seedy underworld again, getting reacquainted with faces that he'd always thought he had left behind.
As the action rattles along at a very fast pace, the author has interweaved Van's early years into the story, using old diary entries that let the reader know more about his background. From these, we also find out more about Dono's more recent years, and the reasons why events have happened.
Throughout Past Crimes, Van battles with loyalties; to his grandfather - the man who raised him, but who has always existed on the wrong side of the law; and to the Army - where he has shone, and made a new and better life for himself.
This is a great thriller. Glen Erik Hamilton can certainly write a story that hooks, and has created a cast of characters who, although decidedly dodgy, are human and strong. The Seattle setting is vividly portrayed, with the seedy underworld and the characters that populate it taking lead roles.
A native of Seattle, Glen Erik Hamilton grew up aboard a sailboard and spent his youth finding trouble around the marinas and commercial docks and islands of the Pacific Northwest. He now lives in California with his family, and frequently returns to his hometown to soak up the rain.
To learn more about Glen, please visit his website.
Follow him on Twitter @GlenErikH