cover image Good Man Gone Bad: An Aaron Gunner Mystery

Good Man Gone Bad: An Aaron Gunner Mystery

Gar Anthony Haywood. Prospect Park, $16 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-945551-66-6

Two cases preoccupy Aaron Gunner in Shamus Award–winner Haywood’s solidly plotted seventh outing for the African-American L.A. PI (after 2000’s All the Lucky Ones Are Dead). Gunner gets the shocking news that his cousin and closest friend, Del Curry, is dead, along with his wife, in a murder-suicide the police pin on Del. The shooting left Del’s 22-year-old daughter in a coma. As Gunner struggles with his loss, he resolves to get answers and clear his friend. At the same time, he’s working as an investigator for his new girlfriend, attorney Kelley DeCharme, to free Harper Stowe, an Afghan war veteran; Stowe has been arrested for the murder of his boss at an auto parts store. With a righteous sensibility, Gunner takes a grinding, never-quit approach to sorting out tangled relationships and troubled family dynamics. As a 17-year-old soldier who served in Vietnam in 1969, he has genuine empathy for Stowe. If Gunner’s politics put him on a soapbox at times, this is still a pleasure to read. Hopefully, Gunner will be back soon. (Oct.)