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Walter Jon Williams is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Deep State, and This Is Not a Game.
C S McClellan
on Sep. 25, 2017 :
Police procedural? Crime thriller? A touch of Western and SF? All of them, with a deeply flawed, yet seriously moral central character. Loren is a police chief with a violent temper. He's been taking illegal payoffs for years, because that's the way things go in Atocha. But he's also a loving family man, and and man with a conscience, who worries about the contradictions between his behavior and his religious beliefs. In other words, he's a complex character, one that you wind up rooting for.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on April 28, 2013 :
Loren Hawn is such a memorable character, somewhat flawed but so human and real. This book - like it's author - is remarkably underrated. It can be appreciated on many levels; as a police procedural or as a mystery with a touch of underplayed sci-fi weirdness, which makes it accessible to even non-sci-fi-readers.
Williams has a gift for action and pacing, masterfully laying down the layers of mystery, and building-up the various plot-lines. His locations and characters feel authentic, their interactions and dialogue feel honest and real, and imparts a strong sense-of-place.
Now, this novel - in the hands of a competent producer - would make a great film, so long as it was adapted with respect and authenticity.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 31, 2011 :
This is an amazing book.
Loren Hawn, Chief of Police in a small town in New Mexico, has a murder to solve. The problem is, it is an impossible murder, because he saw the same man die twenty years earlier. This is a mystery deeper than a small town policeman should have to solve, but solve it he must. Hawn is a strong man, quick tempered, and a fighter with a tendency to rage. But, he also has a strong sense of duty and some uncommon detecting ability.
I will avoid any spoilers. Suffice to say Chief Hawn's investigation into the mysterious murder leads him to a conspiracy involving a nearby research facility. At the same time, he has to deal with unrest due to the closing of the town's main employer, a nearby copper mine, and with escalating local criminal activity. The combination is volatile. The story has a truly explosive finish.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)