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Criminal Past (Hazard and Somerset #6)
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Book Series Discussions > Criminal Past, by Gregory Ashe

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Ulysses Dietz | 1608 comments Criminal Past (Hazard and Somerset number 6)
By Gregory Ashe
Published by the author, 2018
Four stars

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner, “Requiem for a Nun.”

I was assuming this is the finale – and what a finale it is! – to the adventures of Emery Hazard and John-Henry Somerset. I can’t imagine where they could go after this – 0r, rather, I can imagine, and I want to hold onto that fantasy in my heart.

Finally, it all makes sense. Sort of. We return to the tragic death of a teenager eighteen years earlier; the mysterious workings of a local land-investment firm; the insidious power of an old-boy network for whom the preservation of the status quo will be had at any cost. All the dangling threads and random clues that have haunted Emery Hazard since his return to Wahredua and his reunion with his boyhood nemesis John-Henry Somerset come home to roost (is that a mixed metaphor?). In one dizzying, gripping, and terrifying maelstrom of action and anxiety, Gregory Ashe brings Ree and John home.

It is not just their physical survival that hangs in the balance, but the strength of their relationship, hectored by doubts and fears that they, too often, leave unvoiced to each other, that is put to the test. As old people, places and things pop up like zombies to threaten both our two detectives and the community they are sworn to protect, the peaceful mediocrity of this small city in Dore County Missouri is hammered beyond the capacity of its small, ill-equipped police force. Ree and John, reviled and admired in equal parts by the unthinking citizenry of Wahredua, find themselves up against nightmares they both thought were behind them.

I only knocked off a star on this because there are parts when it is truly unpleasant to read. If I didn’t have any nightmares while reading this sixth part of the series, it is only because I guess I’ve gotten used to Ashe’s penchant for gruesome detail. His ability to spin a story is great, and his love for his characters equally so. But, boy, he does love to torture those poor gay boys.

Now that I think of it, there are two details that give me pause: the election banner across main street, and the outstanding invitation to dinner from the new sheriff. Good grief, could a seventh book be in the works?


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