A Long Way From Home
By Brian W Caves
What it’s about?
A sleepy town in 1960s South Georgia, where to some residents, segregation is more important than catching a killer.
An ex-homicide detective from Chicago called to honour an old promise.
With a rising body count and a community guarding their secrets more fiercely than their children, asking questions could prove deadly for the outsider…
What I think:
This is a dark and complex thriller set in the American South of the 1960s.
Tom Bale is a private investigator from Chicago. Years earlier a jazz singer saved his life and Tom gave him a business card. One day he gets a call from the man’s sister – her daughter has gone missing and she needs help. In racial segregated, small-town rural Georgia, the police are not interested in the disappearance of a black teenager. Tom fulfills his obligation and heads South to see what he can uncover.
The locals are suspicious and the police are not particularly helpful. It’s clear that someone is keeping an eye in Tom’s movements and he is warned multiple times to return to the city and leave well enough alone.
I really liked the narrative perspective. Tom is as much an outsider as the reader so we see everything through his eyes. He gradually wins the trust of some key local figures and uncovers some truths about Alice’s disappearance.
But behind the truths are a web of lies, conspiracies and secrets. Tom doesn’t feel that justice has been served and returns month’s later and finds himself embroiled in a dark and violent investigation that uncovers more than the fate of a missing girl.
This is so dark and twisty. The short chapter keep you engaged as the mystery becomes more complex and multi-layered. Caves has built a whole world of characters and the reader is thoroughly immersed in the small town community.
This is a great read!
About the author:
I started out as an engineer, then an estate agent, followed by senior management roles in cable TV and telecoms. Spent a few years as a management consultant and now work in the language translation industry.
I have played music all my life. Classically trained on the clarinet from the age of eight until fourteen when my world took a quantum leap forward after hearing Jimi Hendrix and Voodoo Child on the radio. I thought, wow, I gotta do that. I dumped the clarinet and I picked up the guitar and have never put it down. I have played alongside topflight musicians, both live and in studios.
From a young age I read books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, Swallows and Amazons, then The Famous Five, Billy Bunter, Jennings and Derbyshire, Biggles, and Tarzan. Agatha Christie had a major impact as did Georges Simenon. I penned short stories at school – mostly adventure, but it wasn’t until I became hooked on American Crime Noir that my urge to write came crashing to the forefront of my mind. Reading Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, Macdonald, and the master, James M. Cain had the same effect on my potential writing career as Hendrix had for my music.
Currently, having been further influenced by the greats of Southern literature, I write crime stories based in the Deep South as well as UK based dark noir crime set in the county of Northamptonshire where I reside. Throw into the pot crime and horror short stories and novellas and you’ll have some idea of what goes on in my head.
Thank to Red Dragon Publishing for my gifted copy of A Long Way From Home