Shark Alley reminds me of the best of old paperback Westerns, but with a little noir grit blended in. And Goins brings a little more to it than simplistic six-shooter action. Make no mistake — there's plenty of action, but it's the good kind that carries the story forward, has purpose, and most of all, is inventive. There's enough action to keep you turning pages, but there's also enough story to make you care to see what happens to the characters next. And it's the characters that Goins really does well. The descriptions never drag on, but somehow Goins gives every character his or her own color. Some you'll recognize like an old friend, and some — like the villain whose grim quirks make him realistically creepy — have original twists you'll love.
Bottom line, Goins is a great story teller. And, for those readers who know San Francisco at all, it's a treat to see him bring historic visions of the City's neighborhoods alive with his characters, action, and story.
(reviewed 67 days after purchase)