The Gray and Guilty Sea: Glad I stuck with it
Garrison Gage is a former private eye who has been living an anonymous life after a tragic work-related incident shattered his knee and killed his wife. Now living on the Oregon coast, he frequently walks the beach. One night he stumbles upon a dead body of a girl, and his interest piqued, he comes out of retirement to solve the mystery of her death.
One problem I had with the character, Gage, was that, from the author’s original description, I thought he was about 20 years older than he was. There were also lots of references to Gage being crippled, so with that, plus with thinking he was older than he really was, I had trouble suspending disbelief that he used brute physical strength to backhand a guy, while sitting down at a bar, to knock him off a barstool.
I almost abandoned the book due to this and some editing issues, but I’m glad I didn’t. I enjoyed the carefully developed plot and many of the interesting characters I encountered. I had a bit of a hard time believing the “perfect match” between the reporter and Gage but I did enjoy their interactions and found their relationship enjoyable.
Nolte is a very, very good writer. His characters were 3-dimensional and dynamic, his subplots were good and he kept the story moving at a good pace. Nolte kept me guessing the murderer’s identity almost to the very end. On the downside, the version I read had many editing errors and some minor content inconsistencies. I pointed these out to the author he assured me he would fix them. He thought they were already addressed but it sounds like there were some problems with multiple versions of the file and/or not having the correct one uploaded to the site. With all the editing errors fixed, I would give this book 4.5 stars. The version I read I’d give about a 3.5 star. I’m splitting the difference and giving it 4. Hopefully future reviewers will read a cleaner version. Definitely worth the read either way!
Note: The author provided me a complimentary copy of The Gray and Guilty Sea in exchange for my review.