THE PAST NEVER ENDS by Jackson Burnett

Set in what I believe is fictional Vivia, Oklahoma in 1998, this fine mystery features a decent, hard-working solo lawyer.

A simple task, Attorney Chester Morgan thinks. Get a copy of a public record for a young man whose only friend has died in an unexplained accidental death. Except…

The police file regarding the demise of sex worker Tanya Everly has been sealed by the order of the chief of police, and no one will talk. Warned to drop the matter, Attorney Morgan knows that if he doesn’t speak for the dead young woman, no one will.

Haunted by his discovery of the body of a prominent local oilman, Morgan pursues a quest for justice that puts his reputation, career, and life at risk. A journey that takes him into the dark shadows of the sex-for-sale business, into the marble courtrooms of Oklahoma, and into the aching loneliness of his own soul.

Set in the American Southwest in the days before 9/11, The Past Never Ends is both a complex murder mystery and a meditation on the self-perpetuating nature of injustice and the ethereal nature of justice itself. ”

A bit more noir than some of the other allegedly ‘noir’ mysteries I have read, but filled with likable, real people.  A respectable mystery, of the follow-the-money trope, a satisfying ending, so what more do you want out of this genre?  Egg in your beer?

Bonus info, since I am a river to my people:  Egg in your beer. A bonus, something for nothing, as in What do you want—egg in your beer? This expression dates from about 1940 and became widespread during World War II. The origin is unknown, since adding egg to beer does not improve the taste.

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