June 1, 2010 § 19 Comments
Born and raised in southern Oregon farm country, Ellie Spaneker flees her home and abusive husband, her trail dogged by a brutal ex-cop in the hire of her vengeful father-in-law. In Portland, retired homicide detective Skin Kadash fills his idle days drinking coffee and searching for Eager Gillepsie, a teen runaway of special interest as the only witness in a troublesome and long unsolved murder. Eager, meanwhile, is on his own, drifting and working the angles in the homeless under-ground, oblivious to the unfolding events which will force him to face the consequences of a crime, and a longing, which has haunted him for years.
I won this promotional copy of Day One from a contest on the blog Criminal Minds that Bill contributes for every other Thursday. I have a confession to make: I’ve never read anything in the crime/mystery genre. If someone asked me what kind of books I read, I’d say, “Oh, I read anything.” In actuality, I read literary, YA, and science fiction/fantasy. If someone recommended a book outside of these genres, I’d absolutely read it. A good story is a good story and good writing is good writing. People, Bill Cameron’s Day One is GREAT story-telling and SUPERB writing (I thought those words warranted a caps lock).
Lost Dog, Chasing Smoke and Day One are part of a series following Skin Kadash and those around him. I’d heard Bill Cameron describe them as stand-alones, so I read Day One right after I got it in the mail. I was not confused with the plot and immediately drawn in. His characters were complex, interesting, tragic, and sympathetic. I felt like I knew who Skin was right away despite not having read the first two books.
Day One slipped in and out of scenes that took place in the past and present. These shifts in time read effortlessly. With each chapter, I’d become so engrossed in that piece of back story or present day dialogue, I was almost grieved when the section ended.
For me, this was a great introduction to the crime/mystery genre and you’d better believe I’ll be reading more of it.
On a side note, I’d like to point out how much of a social networking win this is. I probably would not know who Bill Cameron was or about his books if he were not on twitter. I would not have followed Bill on twitter had he not been interesting and entertaining. Other authors should absolutely take note of what Bill has done to engage those who follow him.
To celebrate the release of Day One, Bill filmed a question and answer series on youtube. He was kind enough to entertain my ridiculous questions found here (for the record, my spider-bite scar is pretty awesome):
Isn’t he gracious? You can order your copy of Day One here, or you may win my SIGNED copy (I know, I know, I am too generous). All you have to do to enter is tweet/facebook/batsign in the sky this contest and tell me how you advertised it in the comments section. You have until midnight June 7th to enter. I will pick the winner randomly. I will not be swayed by love letters, sonnets, chocolates, flowers, or iPhones (okay, maybe an iPhone). You will want to enter this contest. Do it.