Winter and Night
Do yourself a favor. If you haven't read S.J. Rozan's mysteries yet, treat yourself. You won't be sorry. Winter and Night is more proof of that. Even though it's part of a series, this book stands very well on its own.
Bill Smith receives a middle of the night call from the New York Police. They have a young man in custody who claims to know him. The teen refuses to identify himself. Bill is surprised to see his nephew, Gary. The last Bill knew, his sister Helen and her family were living in Florida. Gary explains they moved to Warrenstown, New Jersey over the summer. Gary was found trying to rob a wino.
Bill takes Gary back to his apartment. Gary refuses to explain why he left a note for his parents not to worry, then took off. Gary only says that his dad would be proud of him. Bill isn't so sure. He and his brother-in-law Scott are barely civil to each other. Bill sends Gary to the extra room, telling the teen they would return to his home the next day. Gary is a new member on the high school football team and is quite athletic. He breaks a window, drops from the third story, and runs off before Bill can get to the window to watch him.
Bill drives down to New Jersey to see his sister and her family. He gets the reception he expects; his sister is cold and apologetic; his brother-in-law is enraged and angry. He blames Bill for Gary's disappearance. Bill ignores Scott and starts wandering around the small community to try to talk Gary's friends. But they are still new in town. The football team players in town don't know Gary. Those who might are at football camp. He has dropped his summer friends because they're not "cool" per the jocks. In his rounds to find friends, Bill stumbles across a possible crime. He's right; a dead teen age girl in in the house that had hosted a wild party while the parents were gone.
Now the small town of Warrenstown is up in arms. The kids who were at the party couldn't have hurt her. Bill is told to stay away from there. He keeps his sources and returns to New York. Now he contacts his partner, Lydia Chin. Lydia is able to temper Bill a bit. He is angry at his sister and brother-in-law, the town of Warrenstown, Gary for disappearing, and himself for mistakes from the past. Lydia stops Bill from completely exploding.
S.J. Rozan's Winter and Night is a powerful book that looks at the difficulties of teen age life and the way a community can close in on itself against all outsiders. Gary's worries and quest are well founded. Warrenstown closes is on itself; anyone inside the town who works with someone outside or goes outside the norm is often shunned. Bill Smith's past haunts him and affects his view of Gary's disappearance. Rozan twists Warrenstown's history and Bill's history together to make this book stronger.
The who-done-it story is well done, too. This is a page turner.
Notice: Graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations
|Lydia Chin and Bill Smith:||
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