THE GRAY AND GUILTY SEA by Scott William Carter writing as Jack Nolte

gray-and-guilty-seaWhat is the point of having a writing pseudonym if on the cover your real name is in 40 point type and in little bitty type, ‘writing as…’?   So many mysteries in this life.  Like, Area 51, or what is gravity made of, or what exactly IS electricity, or how did Kim Kardashian get such a big butt and what the heck could she possibly see in Kanye West?

This was a great book.  I love the title, although I cannot find a reference for it, so I guess he just made it up.  Garrison Gage was a P.I. in NYC when his wife was brutally murdered and he was beaten within an inch.  Upon his recovery, he gave up, and moved to a small town on the Oregon coast where for five or six years, he has been holed up i his small house doing crossword puzzles, a recluse and a curmudgeon.  He has no computer, no phone, no TV.

One day, while limping along the beach with his ever-present cane, he sees an object at the sea’s edge.  It is a young girl, very dead.  Of course, the police take over the investigation, but the case is going nowhere.  They cannot get an ID on the young woman, and Gage can’t get the girl out of his mind.

He takes on the case all on his own, and begins investigating.  He meets the (of course) attractive young woman who is the sole person running the local paper,  and although she is interested in him, because what young woman wouldn’t be interested in a damaged man twice her age with PTSD and other emotional trauma, and that story kind of  runs parallel with the investigation into what happened to this dead young woman and who did it.

He has a friend, a retired FBI guy (of course, don’t we all?  How else could we solve cases.)  who now runs a used bookstore in town.  So now I am thinking that it must be a magical town, because how many small towns do you know that can support a used book store?  Heck, they are all going out of business in the big cities.  But a small town?  Really.

I guess you are thinking because of all my snide and disparaging comments  about the almost threadbare tropes that I didn’t like the book.  You would be wrong.  I really really liked the book.  The writing was excellent, and although well worn, the tropes almost seemed new under the author’s treatment, so I didn’t mind.

I think it is still a free download.  Let me check for you.  Aha!!!  Yes, you are in luck.  It is still free on Amazon for Kindle,  Nook, etc.  So if you are a fan of detective/P.I fiction, go grab it.  You can’t go wrong.



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