No genre can tap into melancholy like the private eye novel. From Marlowe and Archer, to Matt Scudder and Moe Prager, there is a poetic sadness the detective can wear as easily as a trenchcoat and fedora. One of the best sad sack eyes of late is Matt Coyle’s Rick Cahill, and in Lost Tomorrows, he is delivered to an emotionally messy past.
When hearing the death of his former partner, Krista Laudingham, Cahill returns to his old police beat in San Diego after leaving the force when accused of killing his wife. Her sister, Leah, doesn’t believe her death was accidental and hires Rick to look into it. Now Rick finds himself in the place of his darkest past, up against cops who think he is a killer and some who could be the killer.
Coyle does a reverse on Rick’s usual dilemma. In many of the books, Cahill is dealing with the past to clear his name or his father’s of something they were innocent of. Here, the past comes at him with something he can not deny. He has to find forgiveness as well as justice, something that is difficult to get when the women he wronged are dead.
Cahill’s search for the killer and absolution are entwined in his relationship with Leah. They are two wounded people who could either heal or further hurt the other. The dance they have with each other throughout the book subtle, poignant, and even harrowing at times.
Cahill may solve the case at the end of Lost Tomorrows and may have found a path to mending his heart, though we know the journey is far from over. Someday, maybe he’ll walk alone down those mean streets, but be a little less lonely.
Lost Tomorrows is available to pre-order from BookPeople now.