Past Crimes : Van Shaw

  • by Glen Erik Hamilton
  • Narrated by Jeff Harding
  • Series: Van Shaw
  • 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When his estranged grandfather is shot and left for dead, an army ranger plunges into the criminal underworld of his youth to find a murderer - and uncovers a shocking family secret.
From the time he was six years old, Van Shaw was raised by his Irish immigrant grandfather, Donovan, to be a thief - to boost cars, beat security alarms, crack safes, and burglarize businesses. But at 18 Dono's namesake and protégé suddenly broke all ties to that life and the people in it. Van escaped into the military, serving as an elite army ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, after 10 years of silence, Dono has asked his grandson to come home to Seattle. "Tar abhaile más féidir leat" - "Come home if you can."
Taking some well-earned leave, Van heads to the Pacific Northwest, curious and a little unnerved by his grandfather's request. But when he arrives at Dono's house in the early hours of the morning, Van discovers the old thief bleeding out on the floor from a gunshot to the head. The last time the two men had seen each other, Dono had also been lying on the floor - with Van pointing a gun at his heart. With a lifetime of tough history between him and the old man, the battle-tested ranger knows the cops will link him to the crime.
To clear his name and avenge his grandfather, Van must track down the shooter. Odds are strong that Dono knew the person. Was it a greedy accomplice? A disgruntled rival? Diving back into the illicit world he'd sworn to leave behind, Van reconnects with the ruthless felons who knew Dono best. Armed with his military and criminal skills, he follows a dangerous trail of clues that leads him deeper into Dono's life - and closer to uncovering what drove his grandfather to reach out after years of silence. As he plummets back into this violent, high-stakes world where right and wrong aren't defined by the law, Van finds that the past is all too present...and that the secrets held by those closest to him are the deadliest of all.
Edgy and suspenseful, rich with emotional resonance, gritty action, and a deep-rooted sense of place, Past Crimes trumpets the arrival of a powerful new noir talent.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

15 Stars! Okay?

Is there anything wrong with "Past Crimes" well sure. Glenn Erik Hamiltion in this book is not F. Scott Fitzgerald, and neither Thomas, nor Tom Wolfe, and this isn't the great American novel. BUT... it is a twisty, clever, even cunning reverse-engineering of a caper-heist by characters with Damon Runyon twinkles in their Irish eyes. Plus, Hamilton gives fiction writers a lesson in how-to dazzle through plot-supporting flashbacks.

It is a nifty story of tarnished denizens who you'll root for from page one. Yep, I liked it. A lot. I'm off to buy my next Glen Erik Hamilton book which I hope R. C. Bray reads as engagingly as Jeff Harding did this one.
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- Ted

Narrator took a lot away

Would you try another book from Glen Erik Hamilton and/or Jeff Harding?

Only if it's a daily deal!


Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Hollis - certainly not Van or Dono. A protagonist that is just too good in all categories is no fun, and takes away from the book. However, protagonists that are either really nasty (Dono) or just impossible to understand (Van) are no fun either. I think this writer was aiming for a Jack Reacher (Lee Child) type of character, but he missed.


How could the performance have been better?

The narrator made every woman sound like the church lady on SNL. He couldn't come close to an irish accent - it certainly doesn't have to be perfect...but I actually still am not sure if certain characters were supposed to have Irish accents, or some weird mix of NYC and upper midwest.
I will say he was impressive with his ability actually change his voice, i.e. the characters sounded so different that I almost wondered if there were multiple people narrating at times.
However, he was truly awful at A) women's voices and B) kids/adolescents. So bad that I had a difficult time getting past the almost comical child or woman's voice and focusing on plot.


Was Past Crimes worth the listening time?

Up until the last several chapters. Really dragged at the end.


Any additional comments?

The writer has potential - needs some guidance and better editing.

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- Gibby

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-03-2015
  • Publisher: HarperAudio