Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review of Chasing Smoke


Bill Cameron's Chasing Smoke (Bleak House, 2008), the follow up to his debut, Lost Dog, isn't a proper sequel to that book. It shifts the focus to Portland detective Skin Kadish, who played a supporting role in the previous book. Wracked by bladder cancer, Kadish is on leave and not looking to get involved in any investigations, so he is less than thrilled when his partner has him picked up and brought to the scene of an apparent suicide so she can get his thoughts. Kadish isn't interesed until he learns that the dead man's death is one of many, all apparent suicides, by cancer patients who happen to share the same doctor, who also happens to be Kadish's own oncologist.

Despite the fact that he might be dying, Kadish can't let go of the case once he starts thinking about it. Without any official police support, Kadish launches his own investigation, without being sure a crime has been committed, risking his job and his relationship with his partner to find the truth.

Cameron has crafted a solid mystery novel, and he does a good job of keeping the reader guessing as to exactly what is happening. Kadish is an appealing character who straddles the line between hardass detective and victim of human frailty, and the conclusion and fallout are satisfying. Overall, Chasing Smoke is an entertaining, well plotted mystery well worth checking out.

1 comment:

Jim Thomsen said...

Just discovered this site ... and just discovered Cameron a few months ago. Great stuff, both. And it's good to see Portland get some sorely overdue literary love. How many more L.A. or New York books does the world need, really?