Issue: September 15, 2014
Riders on the Storm.
Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof
Gorman, Ed (Author) Oct 2014. 208 p. Pegasus, hardcover, $25.95. (9781605986258).
Sam McCain is back home from the service in Black River Falls, Iowa. Vietnam is still raging, and the town has a number of returned vets, many missing limbs or struggling with horrific memories. Before he could be deployed, Sam was severely injured when the jeep in which he was a passenger was rolled by the drunken sergeant driving it. For many months, Sam wasn’t sure who he was. There are still headaches, but his memory is back. He’s doing routine work as a lawyer until his friend Will Cullen, involved in Vietnam Veterans against the War, is beaten badly by war cheerleader Steve Donovan, who is murdered a couple days later, leaving Cullen as the obvious suspect. Sam dons his investigator cap and backtracks through Donovan’s life, looking for a motive and a killer. Gorman is a prolific, award-winning author, and the McCain series may be his best work. Black River Falls is a changing industrial city in the early seventies, and McCain is changing with it. The simmering political climate is perfectly rendered and affects every character. As the series progresses, Sam matures and grows slightly more cynical with each case. This is an extended, nuanced fictional biography with an occasional mystery thrown in. Great reading. Welcome home, Sam.
— Wes Lukowsky