Rich and Gone by W.F. Ranew starts off with a great title and it goes to on tell an interesting and complex who-dun-it story spiced with lots of genuine southern flavor and the occasional bit of big money intrigue.
Things I especially liked:
- All the financial sleuthing, and the impressive research behind it.
- An older protagonist who trusts his hunches, is tech savvy, and who is finally having a love affair with the woman he’s yearned for, for forty years.
- Great descriptions of Florida and Georgia, and even better descriptions of the food and drink of the south
Things I struggled with:
- Too much background information about minor characters, especially those introduced late in the story
- A graphic sex scene between two minor characters and a graphic murder showing the homophobia involved — both scenes seemed out of place and gratuitous, as they were unnecessary to plot or character development
- Several cases of the protagonist figuring something out, or his future self chiming in about finding useful information, and then not telling the reader what the tidbit is
Even though the story didn’t quite fire on all cylinders for me, it’s a well-crafted crime novel with plenty of complexity and surprises. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre.
For the full blog post giving more information about the book, its author, and the Goddess Fish promotional tour I originally wrote the review for, please see Rich and Gone.