Thursday 4 April 2024

Book ~ "The Road to Heaven" (2024) Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson

From Goodreads ~ Police academy burnout turned private eye Patrick Bird works divorce cases, using his camera to catch the unfaithful and the lonely looking for love in rented rooms. But his easy routine is shattered by a new case involving a missing girl.

Sixteen-year-old Abbie Linklater hasn’t been home for three days. Her mother believes Abbie’s getting an abortion. Her twin brother thinks she’s studying at the library. Her best friend couldn’t care less. Her father has no idea; he just wants her home without involving the police.

Before the sun sets on the first day of his investigation, as Bird roams the streets of Toronto looking for the runaway, he’s caught a drifter prowling in the Linklater’s backyard, stumbled into a creepy church with a belligerent minister, sparred with the client, been hit by a car and discovered some loose ends in a bank robbery gone wrong a decade earlier.

And that was before he found the body.

It's July 1965 and Patrick Bird is a private detective in Toronto, specializing in catching unfaithful spouses in compromising situations. His next case is finding a missing teenager named Abbie. Her father hires the detective agency rather than contacting the police because he wants it to be kept quiet. Patrick starts tracking Abbie's movements and realizes she is still in their neighbourhood. As Patrick keeps digging, he realizes her disappearance has something to do with a bank robbery in their neighbourhood about 10 years earlier.

This is the first in the Patrick Bird series. It is written in first person perspective in Patrick's voice. I liked the writing style but found it got a bit draggy at times, for example when Patrick visited the church and the minister's sermon was repeated word for word. I thought it started out interesting but then got a bit convoluted and farfetched (especially the scene in the old Seahorse Motel). I liked that it was set in the High Park and Parkdale neighbourhoods of Toronto ... I don't live far from them so know the places Patrick checked out. As a head's up, there is swearing.

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