Fun read for me and most likely other readers who enjoy noir.
I felt like I was reading through a lens of a black and white movie from the 40's. I've read Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillaine so I am familiar with and love the noir genre and this book fit right in. It was a different age and things were different with graft in police departments (probably still some of that somewhere) and unions not wearing a white hat well and certainly not at all times. There was a constant power struggle. The writer cleverly brings in historical information such as Henry Ford's support of the German Nazis and the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping.
There's enough similes to make the reader enjoy the book and the descriptions of the characters are so clear and vivid you can see them in your mind's eye. I enjoyed one particular sentence so much that I remembered it for this review: "Benny floating, dangerously resembling a channel buoy clad in tweed." Now how much fun is that to read?
Never been to Seattle where the action takes place but the characters take clear turns in Ford Coupe, the Packard or the Hudson all over the city with nice explanations and descriptions of how specific areas came about. Not sure if I was dropped in Seattle that I could get around easily but certainly feel I would recognize different landmarks.
With no clear delineation of the good guys and the bad guys, it reminded me some of Elmore Leonard's writing, which is not a bad thing at all. To the reader, the good guys can be bad, and the bad guys have some reason to be good.
It was definitely a different time when 21 year olds grew up to become a "man" much faster than today. That's what happened to Alan Stewart who apparently had an uncanny resemblance to his father who was murdered at the opening of the book. Alan wants vengeance early on and with his good (hum, good?) fortune, opportunity comes knocking. Fortunately his dad's old partner Vic pals up with Alan and shows him the ropes of becoming a detective, like his dead dad. Alan begins his adventure as a naive and unknowing driver of a bakery delivery driver and winds up a more worldly and sophisticated detective. It happened in a short time frame but hey, things moved fast and were different in the late 30's and early 40's and yes, as Americans, we were a bit naive. Remember history? The mood was, it's their war; we're not getting into it.
Nice read, pick it up.