by Bruce TierneyJune, 2004
Murders past and present
Loren Estleman is one of the grand old men of crime fiction, with more than 50 books to his credit, 17 of which feature Detroit detective Amos Walker. The latest, Retro, finds the aging sleuth on an errand of kindness for a former madam who would like her ashes delivered to her only son upon her impending death. Problem is, the son has been in hiding in Canada since the Vietnam era. Walker turns up his quarry, but before he can carry out his mission, the man is shot to death in a Detroit hotel. To make matters worse, Walker is a suspect. In the process of trying to clear his name, he stumbles upon a murder that took place 50-odd years ago. It would be strange enough to find that the victim was the father of the man Walker had so recently located, and that the murder had never been solved, but stranger still to discover that both had been killed with the same gun! With the help of a young Canadian investigator and a retired FBI agent, Walker tries to make sense of a pair of crimes that border on the impossible, and with most surprising results. For readers who mourn the late great Ross MacDonald, Retro (and the earlier Amos Walker books) will provide ample noir divertissement.