Sunday, 4 January 2015

Stone Quarry (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels) by S. J. Rozan

I love S.J. Rozan's Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series and I particularly like the way Rozan alternates perspective with each story. Stone Quarry is the turn of Bill, who is something of an enigma. There are hints of a troubled past and his relationship with Lydia is complex and each of his stories see, both us and his partner, removing another layer of mystery in order to get to the essence of who he is.

Bill is a fabulously engaging character. He's a tough lone wolf and, with his chain smoking and heavy drinking, most definitley old school. His contrast with Lydia couldn't be more stark and yet somehow their partnership works.

This novel is particularly satisfying because it takes us to Bill's cabin in rural upstate New York, a place where he likes to retreat when city life becomes too much. An artist who lives in the area hires him to locate some stolen property and mayhem ensues. There is no denying that the plot is fast paced and exciting but, for me, that was secondary to the pleasure of being introduced to Bill's friends, people who he has known for eighteen years. It is through his relationships with these people that we get a glimpse of the real Bill, the one beneath the tough, wise cracking exterior.

I loved this novel and found myself going to bed earlier and earlier just so that I could read it. If you like a good old fashioned crime story, where the line between the good guys and the criminals is not always well defined, then give this one a go.

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