After serving time, a reformed drug dealer seeks peace in the small Alaskan village in which he grew up, but trouble hounds his every step.
The rumor spread like wildfire up and down the boardwalk in Cold Storage, Alaska: After serving seven years for dealing cocaine, Clive “The Milkman” McCahon—brother to town medic Miles, son of town fixture Annabelle, grandson of Ellie, who opened the first bar in town with her husband—was coming back to town. He’d left 20 years ago, at the age of 15, so not a lot of people knew him. Still, the fact that someone was coming to live in the tiny village, rather than leaving to live somewhere else, was gossip-worthy enough, especially in a gossip-hungry town like Cold Storage. But Clive wasn’t coming alone. For one thing, a nosy cop had been coming around, seemingly anxious to catch Clive doing something illegal. And somehow, while picking up a large quantity of cash he was pretty sure his former business partner owed him, Clive had acquired an extremely large, extremely ugly dog. And Clive’s former business partner, who was less than convinced that he owed Clive any money, was bound to come looking for him—and the money—sooner or later. But the oddball residents of Cold Storage take care of their own, and Clive is as oddball as they come, especially since he’s started communicating with animals. In the author’s note at the end of the book, the second in Straley’s (The Big Both Ways, 2008, etc.) Cold Storage series, Straley mentions his desire to write a tribute to screwball comedy, and he has certainly done so. The cast of eccentric characters, the sharp, witty dialogue, and the chaotic, frenzied pace of the narrative would do Preston Sturges proud. Readers looking for edge-of-your-seat suspense should look elsewhere, but those who like their crime with a healthy side of humor could hardly do better.
Quirky, funny and compulsively readable.