Past Crimes: A Van Shaw Novel

Morrow. Mar. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062344557. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062344571. F
OrangeReviewStar[DEBUT] Iraq War veteran Army Ranger Van Shaw, recuperating from wounds received while serving in Afghanistan, receives a letter from his grandfather Dono, with whom Van has not communicated for many years, asking Van to come home. He dutifully does so, but only moments after his grandfather has been shot—he finds Dono bleeding profusely on the kitchen floor, barely alive. Dono has lived a larcenous life of mostly genteel, nonconfrontational crime, but things have taken a suddenly dangerous, possibly fatal turn. Van gets the unconscious Dono to the hospital and sets out to discover who shot him and why. Armed with his military training (and some criminal skills taught him as a boy by Dono), Van follows a trail that leads deeper into his grandfather's life—and closer to uncovering what drove Dono to reach out after years of silence.
VERDICT In his outstanding debut, Hamilton has created a tough and intriguing character in Van Shaw, one that will appeal to fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series.
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