What do you look for in your crime novels? Plot twists? Good cops doing good things and bad cops doing bad things? Good cops doing thing bad things and bad cops doing good things? The seedy underside of the criminal justice system?
Then you will enjoy William Landay’s Mission Flats. If you have some leftover funds from your holiday gifts, pick up a copy.
The book starts off with three homicides: the ugly slaying of a beat cop in 1977, the botched drug bust that left another officer dead in 1987, and a dead assistant district attorney in the present. The last murder happens in a small town in Maine. That brings the local sheriff into the investigation of the other two murders.
Before I go much further, I need to let you know that Bill (yeah, I know him as Bill) is a friend. Our sons went to the same preschool. We have been to each others’ homes and countless kids’ birthday parties. And if you buy his book through one of the links in this post I get a very small commission from Amazon.
But you don’t have to take my word for how good the book is.
New York Times Book Review: “Tough but true: a first-time novelist has to bring something new to the table — something like the trumps that William Landay throws down in his high-stakes police procedural.”
Bill is a former was an assistant district attorney before he turned to writing. He brings depth and authenticity to the characters and criminal justice system.
Here is my favorite quote from the book:
“There is no absolute beginning to any story, after all. There is only the moment you begin watching.”
My review may be biased, but I’m also a bit sheepish to admit that after all these years I just got around to reading his book. Now that our kids are not in school together, I wish I had read the book earlier. You can read the chapter one of Mission Flats if you want to get a taste of the book.