cover image Cross My Path

Cross My Path

Clea Simon. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8787-0

Cat-loving fans of grim postapocalyptic tales will best appreciate Simon’s third Blackie and Care mystery (after 2017’s Dark as My Fur). In a claustrophobic unnamed port city, Care, a pink-haired 15-year-old girl, ekes out a living as a finder of lost people and things. She’s assisted, although she’s unaware of the help, by Blackie, a cat who serves as narrator and whose consciousness mingles with that of the girl’s deceased former mentor. Up the grimy, rickety staircase comes Augusta, a new client. Blackie immediately senses a kindred attachment to this old woman, who wants Care to find her dead brother’s watch fob. Augusta is followed by Peter, a dock worker looking for his workmate and cherished friend, Rafe. While creeping through the filthy streets of the ruined city, Care spots AD, a drug dealer and Care’s former boss—or, as Blackie puts it “the alpha male of a small pack of feral children.” The disparate plot lines combine in a fiery finale. That Simon offers no humor, philosophy, or character growth limits the appeal of this dark series. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Doe Coover Agency. (July)