First of State by Robert Greer (ARC)
Published by North Atlantic Books
At the request of Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, an ARC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (back of book): Robert Greer’s latest novel-a prequel to his CJ Floyd mystery series-takes readers back in time to a very different CJ Floyd. It’s 1972, and the twenty-two-year-old decorated war vet has recently returned to Denver from Vietnam with post-traumatic stress disorder. Navigating depression, he finds a friend in World War II vet and amputee Wiley Ames, who shares his passion for rare and valuable western memorabilia.
When Ames and a mysterious Chinese man are found murdered, CJ’s already fragile world threatens to collapse. His attempts to find his friend’s killer are thwarted at every turn, and finally joins his Uncle Ike’s business as a bail bondsman and bounty hunter. Five years later one of Ames’s treasured antique license plates turns up at a Denver flea market and CJ is once again off and running. The trail to Wiley Ames’s murderer leads CJ down a dark path strewn with backstabbing antique dealers, conniving friends and relatives of Ames’s, and a shadowy musician. Equally a white-knuckle-ride murder mystery and a tale of a traumatized young man coming to terms with his past.
My Thoughts and Opinion: This was the first time reading this author, and it being the prequel, has piqued my curiosity as to the rest of the series. The characters became life like whereas I instantly liked the 2 main characters CJ and his uncle Ike, even with their flaws. Set in the 1970s, CJ just back from Viet Nam, the plot touched upon Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, which I feel that Dr. Greer gave credibility for the veterans that suffer from this disease. The writing was descriptive where I could picture in my mind the scenarios of crimes and suspects that CJ investigated. The story line did move forward but at times not as fast as I would have liked. I enjoyed the characters more than the basic plot, and because of that I am quite interested in reading more of CJ Floyd and how his character evolves and develops over the years.