Another reading group choice – I don’t think I’ve read anything by Ed Gorman before this and this is the 6th in a series.
It’s 1968 and a community of hippies has settled on some land just outside the small Iowa town of Black River Falls. Sam McCain, our 1st person narrator, lawyer and private investigator, is called in to investigate the murder of Vanessa Mainwaring, the beautiful daughter of a prominent local businessman. Her body was found in the barn on the hippies’ property.
The town is divided about 1/3 not minding the “hippies” and 2/3rds opposed to them in general. They’ve watched the news and police beating of dirty kids.
Bad Moon Rising
by Ed Gorman
2011 / 211 pages
read by Joe Barnett – 6h 10m
rating – C- / series crime
Sam McCain Mysteries, Book 9
The main thing about the book (and probably the series) is the nostalgic look back at the times – the fictional small town of Black River Falls, Iowa is kind of like what we watched on TV then, The Andy Griffith Show and so on, except there is a distinct 21st century underside.
The details of the setting are quite good – and hard for me to read in places because of my own experiences during that time frame. The who-done-it mystery has a rather clumsy and formulaic feel – it seems secondary to the setting and the ideas of Sam who rambles on about this and that.
Sam is a mellow sort of guy – he’s not working for the local cops but rather checking it out for a client who has been arrested. I’m not sure I’m all that enamored of the guy – he’s like the opposite of the arrogant, loose cannon, Harry Bosch. I got really tired of the continual stream of considerations ideas from Sam.
The other characters are somewhat flat and tend toward “types,”
From what I understand all the books in this series take place within the time frame 1957 – 1970? and were given the titles of song lyrics. I’ll not be reading more of them.
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-criminal-kind-ed-gorman/#! – it’s a better review.