Sugar Town by Loren Estleman – quick review

I grew up watching Bogart movies and reading Sherlock Holmes short stories. I watched PBS for the video adaptations of Hercule Poirot novels. I like detective stories. I’ve had Loren Estleman recommended to me in the past and I finally got around to taking up the recommendation and giving it a shot, and I’m happy I did.

This award winning novel is now 26 o 27 years old, but it’s aged well, like most good detective fiction. Amos Walker is the easily recognizable gumshoe. The plot doubles back on itself as expertly as expected. The dialog is something that’s easy to imagine Bogart delivering with a glass in one hand and a pistol in the other.

What sets Estleman’s work off, and what seems to be a trademark of his, is setting it in Michigan; in this case, Detroit. A quarter of a century ago, maybe this would have seemed less remarkable, but given the outward appearance of Detroit (and Michigan in general), it’s good seeing someone giving the area a bit of life (as an aside, I’ve championed Detroit 187 for similar reasons, and think if Michigan loses this series because Gov.Snyder doesn’t want to give tax breaks to an industry he doesn’t have friends in, he’s doing Michigan a great disservice).

So, if you’re looking for some good detective fiction, I think it’s hard to go wrong with this one.


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