, May 27, 2011
(view all comments by sarahboberra)
This debut novel written by a real-time Private Eye and San Francisco transplant had me hooked from page 1. As a Bay Area native, I loved the gritty, real life descriptions of the City, and the book inspired me to seek out some of the City's spots that I regret to say I have yet to explore. Gessner obviously loves his chosen hometown as well as his occupation, as much as he loves his myriad of colorful, street-wise characters undoubtedly drawn from his own experiences, since before he became a P.I. he drove a taxi. Reminiscent of Hammet, and all those good ol' Bogie movies I used to watch with Dad back in the day, the main character Walker tells his story with panache and a touch of irony, aware that he is both the tough guy and also the clueless one, at least in the realm of intimacy. The updated, yet classic parallel love story, the love interest who is the "girlfriend with attitude," also brings to mind Bacall's sassiness with Bogie, but goes further in actually addressing the question of commitment, therefore staying in the realm of real life as opposed to fantasy. The two cases Walker takes on are believable ones, and I did not see the conclusions in either of them coming. All in all, a perfectly enjoyable read, a first-rate debut, and I look forward to more to come in the series.