In Chasing Demons, narrator Luc Actar is chasing a number of demons. A crime writer, former street punk, and recovering alcoholic, Luc has achieved a degree of stability, settling down with his childhood sweetheart, Mattie, in her lovely Malibu home. All of this is threatened when the police show up at his door one morning to inform Luc of his abusive and criminal father’s death. Against all better judgment and even his own will, Luc becomes involved in investigating the death, while doing so uncovering a mysterious plot concerning a mental health facility apparently illegally committing homeless people . In the course of the investigation, Luc finds his job, his home life, and hard-won stability threatened.
This is a strong example of its genre. Often in mystery novels, the characters are strong but the plot is lacking, or the story compelling but the characters flat. However, this story flows inevitably from the intelligent and restless voice telling it, that of former hood made somewhat good, Luc Actar, as he roams the streets of greater Los Angeles looking for a story and finding one–not the one he expected, but a gripping one. He also finds himself the apparent and unwilling foster father to a suddenly surfaced teenaged half-brother whom Maddie likes and Luc strongly dislikes, seeing in the youth his former self. Probably everyone who has escaped a checkered past lives in fear of that past sucking him back down, and Luc lives that nightmare, at one point arrested and taken to jail over a murder he did not commit although all evidence points to him. Everything comes out all right at the end, somewhat. Everything is “somewhat” in Luc’s shadowy life, as he chases his personal demons—not necessarily beating them, but putting up a good fight and promising an equally good sequel or series.
|Author||Melissa M. Garcia|
|Page Count||256 pages|
|Publisher||Melissa M. Garcia|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|