Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Where I Can See You

Where I Can See You by Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books: 1/10/17
eBook review copy; 255 pages
ISBN-13: 9781633882119

Where I Can See You by Larry D. Sweazy is a highly recommended police procedural - and a man looking for past answers.

Hud Matthews has accepted a position as a homicide detective somewhere where he said he'd never return to - his home town, a decaying vacation/destination lakeside community. After recovering from a gunshot wound while with the Detroit PD, Hud has accepted a position from a childhood buddy who, like his father before him, is now the police chief, Paul Burke. Hud is still haunted by the disappearance of his mother. When he was eight years old she walked out to get into a big, shiny black car and never returned. Hus spent his childhood searching for her, with Gee, his grandmother. Now Gee has passed away and Hud is back, still wondering what happened to his mother years earlier.

When the body of Pamela Lynn Sizemore is found half in and half out of Demmie Lake, Hud's skills are needed on the investigation. It appears that Pamela was cooking meth and a drug dealer, but as bodies and questions mount, the answers may not be as simple as a drug deal gone badly. Even as Hud works on the current investigation, he is still trying to find out what happened to his mother years earlier. And it appears that the locals aren't exactly forthcoming with answers to his questions on either case.

Sweazy keeps the gloom and doom atmosphere heavy in this investigation, and not only because it is set in the fall. The former resort community is decaying and has lost all of its former charm. People are struggling to get by and a series of murders is not good for what little business they have left. Hud's investigation into the murders and his mother's disappearance seems to have upset more than one person in the community.

In between current chapters are transcripts from Hud being interrogated by an anonymous person. At first you think it might be the therapist he had to talk to in order to be cleared for work, but soon it seems that something else is going on that we aren't privy to yet, something to do with his mother. It helps keep the tension up as the current investigations continue. Hud is a flawed, well-developed character. The ending surprised me and was well done.

The only problem I had with Where I Can See You was Hud's interaction with Goldie. It was a gratuitous sex scene that really didn't add anything to the plot. After he had been gone for so many years and since he had no personal relationship with her in his youth, the immediate I-see-you-and-am-hot-for-you-now sex seemed stupid and absurd for such a analytical, deliberate man. Sure he has flaws, but I didn't think foolishness was among them. It would have been more believable if she had flirted with him and he reciprocated in kind, but kept her at a distance, knowing she might have information he needed in the future.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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