Published 20 November 2014 by New Pulp Press
Number of pages: 302
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I liked it
"Los Angeles, 1993. The City is burning itself down. Murder is king. And Bird is back, right in the middle of the blaze.
Still blaming himself for the death of the Butcher’s Granddaughter, Bird is holed up in his girlfriend’s apartment and trying to keep the demons at bay. But the City won’t leave him alone, won’t let him grieve. When the desperate father of a missing UCLA co-ed finds Bird and pleads with him to help find his daughter, Bird sees a path to personal redemption and takes it. It may be the last mistake he ever makes.
From penthouse office suites to strip club poker games, Bird soon learns that the girl’s disappearance may have been of her own making. But somewhere along the way she drew the interest of L.A.’s darkest corners, and in them Bird will have to choose between his own life and that of a woman he has never met."
Aptly described as L.A. Noir, the author takes us through the murkiest side of Los Angeles, and the city itself feels very much part of the story, although I often found it difficult to follow its layout, and felt that local knowledge or a map would have truly brought the narration to life.
The story is undoubtedly captivating with its twists and turns, and Bird, the anti-hero, is very likeable in spite of himself, however I felt that much was left too sketchy and unanswered about the main characters to truly feel for them.
At times, I also found the writing overwrought and too difficult for me to understand exactly what the author was trying to convey, in particular in relation to the nitty-gritty of various shady undertakings. I suppose these passages might be crystal clear to seasoned noir and hard-boiled crime lovers.
I look forward to catching up with Bird in both the previous and next instalments.