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    Review of RETRO by Loren D. Estleman (see his website)


    Forge, May 2004

    A simple assignment--delivering a dead madam's ashes to her adoptive son--turns out complicated and dangerous as private investigator Amos Walker investigates. The son, a Viet Nam era fugitive, is surprisingly easy to track down, especially when Walker calls on a retired FBI former client. But, ashes delivered, the son has an idea that he'd like to hire Amos to track down his father's killer--a murder that happened decades earlier, in an era when black fighters were definitely not supposed to date white entertainers.

    When Walker's new client is killed in an airport hotel--a hotel behind all of the screening devices of modern anti-terrorism, Amos knows that the past has re-emerged. Especially since Walker was set up as a suspect.

    Walker mixes with a tough county police Captain, his retired FBI buddy, a couple of gangsters in town for what looks like a setup, the gangster's beautiful girlfriend who looks to Walker for help escaping, and the aging witnesses to the long-ago shooting. Whether in style, gangsters, or murder, everything old is new again--and Walker has to move quickly to stay alive himself.

    Author Loren D. Estleman (see more reviews of novels by Estleman) delivers an exciting hard-boiled mystery. Walker, with his stuborn commitment to finding the truth no matter who gets in his way, is a classic retro figure himself. Interesting dialogue, fascinating introspection, Walker's cynical but true observations on life, and high suspense and danger, along with Estleman's compelling writing, make RETRO a fast-paced and hard-to-put-down novel. If you like hard-boiled private detective thrillers, RETRO is definitely one you should check out.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/03/04

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