This was a national bestseller and for good reason.A fast starting book that holds you in suspense while including psychological chiaroscuro, plenty of drama, good old-fashioned police work and some romance.
I really enjoyed this book. He is a good author and I have read quite a few of his books. One or two of his books have been made into movies.
It begins in 1945 and then flashes back to 1900. Eli Gorman and Shamus O' Dell own a good bit of land south of San Francisco. Unable to get along, they play a (totally unbelievable) poker game to see who gets control. Ben Gorman and Brodie Culhane, close friends, watch hidden in the loft. O' Dell loses but he has had his revenge already selling a local town, the Eureka of the title, to the evil Arnie Riker.
Culhane, an orphan, leaves town for highly predictable reasons, becomes a hero in WWI, returns and becomes the deputy lawman until a shootout claims the life of the highly unbelievable Buck Tallman, an old-style Western town marshall.
Tallman dies in a shootout at the local high-end brothel.
Jump ahead a couple of decades and a woman is found dead in her bathtub. It seems accidental: a radio had fallen into the tub, electrocuting her. But the erstwhile detective Zeke Bannon is on the job. My, my: doesn't take long before the apparent accident is found to be a murder!
And off we go back to Eurkea where secrets want to be kept. With Zeke Bannon on the job? Perish the thought --- though you may perish by the time you reach the end of this formulaic potboiler.
William Diehl clearly understands the three essentials of any bestselling 1940s-era crime thriller: gangsters, gunplay, and guilty secrets. But Eureka isn't just another noirish shoot-'em-up, as shallow and forgettable as a stoolie's grave. It's a combustible, epic-aspiring saga about long-ago violence and the limits of justice, about revenge and redemption and two rivalrous lawmen drawn together by common ideals.
Most of the action centers around Zeke Bannon, a young L.A. cop whose probing into the murder of a mysterious widow--electrocuted in her own bathtub--leads him to the once-sinful town of Eureka, now called San Pietro. It's from there that she'd been receiving anonymous cashier's checks over the last two decades, money Bannon figures she earned by her silence. Was she helping to cover up the truth about a 1921 shootout that caused the death of Eureka's frontier-style sheriff? Nobody in modern San Pietro will talk, least of all Thomas "Brodie" Culhane, a World War I hero who cleaned up the town and is now running for governor of California. Torn between admiring Culhane and trying to link him to the widow's killing, Bannon ignites historical enmities that threaten to express both men to their graves.
Although Diehl offers ample cinematic violence here, there's little true menace, and a romantic subplot involving Bannon with a gorgeous banker is neither credible nor effectively exploited. Still, Eureka is a polished work, full of careful character studies and drama, with a gasp-provoking solution that few readers will anticipate
I like books that bring you from the old days to present and this book does that. It's easy to follow and very good at drawing you in.
I picked up the audiobook of this and though it was an interesting story, the audiobook had a lot to be desired. There were lots of inconsistencies which had me thinking WTH. At one point Zeke, the lead cop was on the phone with a sheriff Brodie, and something was said about the look on Brodie's face when Zeke gave him some news. This book took place in 1941, I highly doubt they had phones capable of visuals. It happened more than once and was rather disturbing. Upon picking up the actual book, I noticed that these incidents actually happened face to face and whomever did the abridgment, just did a crappy job. Oh well it didn't detract from the story just sidelined it a bit.
A woman ends up dead in her bathtub and detective Zeke Bannon and Ski Agassi grab the case. Zeke immediately felt something was off with this scenario and took it upon himself to investigate. Turns out the dead woman, appeared out of nowhere roughly 20 years ago with a boatload of cash. The investigation is interesting and huge leaps of faith are taken by Bannon. His insight is amazing and his determination to ferret out the culprit is unending.
I enjoyed the story but in hindsight, should have read the book and gotten the full effect. So if you have the option of an abridgment or the real thing, stick with the real thing on this one as the abridgment cuts out too many of the details and the story just doesn't flow properly.
Really enjoyed reading this psychological crime thriller and who done it mystery. Great story telling and hard to put down. Highly recommend.
Did I like this book? I'm not really sure. But if that's the case, why am I looking for more by this author?