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Day One [Kindle Edition]

Bill Cameron
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $5.89
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Book Description

Born and raised in southern Oregon farm country, Elie Spaneker flees her home and abusive husband, unaware she’s being tracked by an 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 Gillespie, a teen runaway of special interest as the only witness in a troublesome and long unsolved murder. Eager, meanwhile, is on his own, grifting and working the angles in the homeless underground, 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.

These disparate trails converge at a bloody standoff, the harrowing end of a series of brutal crimes which trace a path from the high desert to the streets of Portland, committed by a perpetrator known only as Shadow.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Portland, Ore., Cameron's richly flavored if contrived third crime novel opens with what looks like a familiar urban domestic crisis. But when battered ex-cop Skin Kadash, last seen in Chasing Smoke (2008), scans the crowd gathered outside the house in his neighborhood where a man supposedly has gone berserk and pulled a gun on his family, Skin recognizes the teenage skateboarder who was the sole witness to an unsolved Jane Doe murder a few years before—and so begins wondering whether the two outbursts of violence could be related. Like Skin, readers may become obsessed with making unlikely connections, as the book offers a montage of narrative fragments from different times and viewpoints, interspersed with objective but semi-informed newspaper reports. The characters' operatically intense passions are powerful, but the extreme coincidences underlying the plot weaken the overall impact. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It’s likely to take more than the usual 10 pages to get a sense of what’s going on in this patchwork thriller, a dark tale of desperate people whose mistakes finally catch up to them. Time, circumstance, and character constantly shift, but the bulk of the story focuses on two characters—Skin Kadash, a retired Portland, Oregon, homicide cop at loose ends, and farm wife Ellie Spaneker, on the run from her abusive husband’s ruthless father. Their troubled, seemingly unconnected stories begin to converge when Skin’s neighbor emerges from his house with a pistol and shoots a teenager whom Kadash knows. When the severely wounded kid disappears into the crowd, Kadash sets out to find him, uncovering a bizarre tale of greed and bloody murder that harks back to a crime he was unable to solve while on the force. Unrelievedly bleak and gritty yet thoroughly compelling. --Stephanie Zvirin

Product Details

  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935562096
  • Publisher: Tyrus Books (June 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005307MBC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,026 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Overwound, but Lyrically Original January 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Day One," Bill Cameron's third crime novel, is big, sprawling, messy and bleak. It's also deep, thoughtful, gorgeously written and full of memorable characters who are as original as they are flawed.

It's far from perfect, given an incredibly complicated flashback structure that probably makes the reader work too hard, but Cameron makes the effort worth it by creating a handful of characters so frail and damaged and vulnerable and yet hopeful that you can't help but hope they'll find their way through the godawful mess they've helped create.

Most memorable are Ellie Spaneker, a tormented housewife from rural Southern Oregon trying to find her salvation in her missing best friend; Eager Gillespie, a teenage dirtbag from the dumpy side of the tracks who secretly harbors the thin hope of helping himself out of his dead-end life through helping others; and Skin Kadash, the main character, an aging and ailing ex-cop with not enough to do and a reluctance to do what's thrust upon him. Yet, he finds to his dismay, he hasn't quite detached from the world enough to stop caring -- or stop putting his fine cop's brain to work.

Portland, as always in a Cameron novel, makes for an incredibly vivid setting, though Cameron tends to dwell on the parts of town that the Chamber Of Commerce would probably prefer not to spotlight. The Rose City of the author's vision is a near-endless series of downtrodden urban neighborhoods populated by street thugs and tweaker freaks, a dark and gritty moonscape of ruined civilization running like a surgical scar through of the most naturally beautiful cities in the country.

Two reads of "Day One" failed to weave together all the complicated plot threads for me, and the coincidences that brought together many of the principals in the final pages struck me as a bit too contrived. But those are minor quibbles about the magnificently bumpy ride that got me there.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Rich October 5, 2010
Day One by Bill Cameron is a fascinating read both for the well-crafted story and the style in which it's written. It's a complex tale, rich with dark characters that, thankfully, most of us don't meet in our daily lives. It's literary without pretension, well-paced and never formulaic.

The tone is noir with many shades of composite gray. The writing pulls you in without gimmicks, the dialogue and characters are cinematic. There's a genuine and talented author's voice speaking through these pages. I stopped more than once to reread entire paragraphs for the pure thrill of great writing.

This is a complex story about strange crimes with deep origins. The narrative glides through the past and present in a engaging manner as a series of interconnected personal stories and interlocking puzzles unfold and pick up steam until they converge with a resonant bang.

Painstakingly set in rural Oregon and urban Portland, the scenery, smells, and regional quirks are conjured with equal doses of sun, mist, and shadows. The author does an excellent job with the bread and butter forensics and police procedures as well as the inner stories and conflicts that drive his good, bad, and ugly characters forward.

Day One is the third book in Cameron's series, but each book stands on it's own. I read this first, loved it, and intend to return for more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First read November 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First read by this author, Instant fan! Great story from the beginning. The narrative places you in a modern day story, and adds to the picture the author skillfully creates. I'll be buying other works for sure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Bill Cameron book yet. August 29, 2010
Some sentences in this book were so perfect that I would have read it only for them. Great story - painful, brave, and kind. Incredibly well-crafted characters. Excellent suspense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better Late Than Never August 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've come late to the Bill Cameron party. So if you're already a fan, this will reaffirm what you know. If you haven't read him, you should. And if you've read him but you're not a fan there's something wrong with you (though he may not be your cup of tea, which is okay). I started with DAY ONE, and it's as quirky as the city in which it's set, Portland--Oregon, that is--as twisted as Portland's streets, and as dark as a winter's day there.

It's also beautifully written, with fully realized characters, even the bad guys. While we don't get to know them well, we know exactly what drives them. Cameron does a little time-tripping to help with back story, but he plays fair and announces where his time machine is going at the beginning of each chapter. Keep up because the ride is well worth it.

Skin Kadash, Cameron's series protagonist, here is at a juncture in his career, no longer a cop and unsure of his place in the world. But he's a compelling and likable guy, and I look forward to seeing how he got to where he is career-wise and as a man.

Rocking good stuff.
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More About the Author

Bill Cameron is the author of dark, gritty mysteries featuring Skin Kadash: COUNTY LINE, DAY ONE, CHASING SMOKE, and LOST DOG. Bill's short stories have appeared in PORTLAND NOIR, FIRST THRILLS, DEADLY TREATS, WEST COAST CRIME WAVE, PUPPY LOVE NOIR, and DIARIES OF MISSPENT YOUTH.

His work has been nominated for multiple awards, including the Spotted Owl Award, the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award, and the 2011 CWA Short Story Dagger Award for "The Princess of Felony Flats." In 2012, COUNTY LINE was awarded the Spotted Owl for Best Northwest Mystery.

He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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