The twisty case that follows reads as a love letter to the Cool Gray City and its neighborhoods and people, exemplifying the message of Kageyama’s previous books about loving where you live. The striking cover image, hand-drawn illustrations, and Kageyama’s own sharply evocative prose whisk readers away to the lights and shadows of the city at mid-century, from Navy Yards to North Beach’s beatniks, a term Kageyama points out, in an endnote, was confined in ‘58 by legendary S.F. newsman Herb Caen. With colorful representations of Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Dorothea Lange, and many others, we experience a city where people live, write, dream, connect and—this is a crime novel, after all—scheme.
But it’s the original characters and storytelling that set this apart from the pack of San Francisco noirs.The engaging Katsuhiro and Molly, a woman he meets on the case, are inspired, Kageyama notes, by the author’s parents. Katsuhiro endured time in the internment camps established by the United States government during World War II, and joined the Nisei Units in the Army, material all handled with sensitivity and intelligence, as is the blossoming romance between the two. Besides its arresting plotting and suspense, Hunters Point becomes a vital vessel to illuminate the past and those who lived there.
Takeaway: This stellar San Francisco noir novel boasts rich characterization and a vital connection to the past.
Great for fans of: Joe Gores, Gary Phillips’ One-Shot Harry.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A