Past Darkness: A Karl Kane Novel

Sam Millar. O’Brien/Brandon (Dufour, dist.), $14 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-84717-741-4
In the prologue of British author Millar’s gripping if a bit contrived fourth novel featuring Belfast PI Karl Kane (after 2013’s Dead of Winter), an unidentified young woman dispatches an abusive priest before fleeing a religious group home. In the main narrative, Kane wakes up early one morning from his usual nightmares about his mother’s murder to answer a phone call from a female friend he knows as Lipstick, who’s in trouble. Kane rushes over to the hotel where Lipstick, a heroine addict, has been entertaining a john, Graham Butler, who’s turned violent. Kane rescues Lipstick, but his dark past is about to catch up to him via Butler and an apparently unrelated arson investigation. When the arson case takes a surprising turn involving the woman who killed the priest, Kane is forced into a face-off with an old bogeyman, his mother’s killer. Millar blends old-fashioned gumshoe noir with the latest in high technology to build a nail-biter that sneaks up on you. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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