Past Crimes: A Van Shaw Novel

Past Crimes: A Van Shaw Novel

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by Glen Erik Hamilton

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2016 Anthony Award Winner for Best First Novel
2016 Macavity Award Winner for Best First Mystery
2016 Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Van Shaw was raised by his Irish immigrant grandfather Donovan to be a thief—to boost cars, beat security alarms, and crack safes. But at eighteen, Van broke all ties to that life and joined the


2016 Anthony Award Winner for Best First Novel
2016 Macavity Award Winner for Best First Mystery
2016 Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Van Shaw was raised by his Irish immigrant grandfather Donovan to be a thief—to boost cars, beat security alarms, and crack safes. But at eighteen, Van broke all ties to that life and joined the military, serving as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, after ten years of silence, Dono has asked his grandson to come home to Seattle.

Van is curious and a little unnerved by his grandfather's request. But when he arrives at Dono's house, Van discovers his grandfather bleeding out on the floor from a gunshot wound to the head. With a lifetime of tough history between him and the old man, the battle-tested Ranger knows he'll be the first suspect.

To clear his name and avenge his grandfather, Van plunges back into a violent, high-stakes world where right and wrong aren't defined by the law . . . and where the secrets held by those closest to him are the deadliest of all.

Editorial Reviews

“A debut novel from a gifted writer with a sure hand. As much fun to read as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.”
Gregg Hurwitz
“PAST CRIMES is a zipline ride of a thriller, plummeting through the back alleys of Seattle where murder and intrigue reign supreme and the undead past lurks around the next wrong turn. Buckle in and hang on!”
New York Times bestselling author Lee Child on PAST CRIMES
“A home run off the first pitch - this guy has got what it takes.”
Booklist on PAST CRIMES
“If he stays true to his talent, Hamilton is an author to watch.”
Crimespree Magazine on PAST CRIMES
“Edgy and suspenseful.”
The Cedar Rapids Gazette on PAST CRIMES
“Fans of action-filled mysteries should get to know Van Shaw right now and plan to be following his exploits for quite some time.” on PAST CRIMES
“Glen Erik Hamilton’s impressive debut novel fuses procedural plotting, vigilantism and noir. The seedy setting and one man’s hunt for justice create an emotionally stirring and morally ambiguous read. Past Crimes keeps readers on edge and second-guessing every character.”
David Rothenberg
“Glen Erik Hamilton is a welcome new entry in the very over-crowded crime-fiction genre.”
Madison County Herald on PAST CRIMES
“With ‘Past Crimes,’ debut novelist Glen Eric Hamilton comes out of the chute riding a rocket sled of thrills. This action-laced crime noir reads like a comfortable third entry in an already established franchise.”
Iron Mountain Daily News on PAST CRIMES
“With wry humor and plenty of action, Glen Erick Hamilton’s “Past Crimes” is an updated version of the classic hard-boiled detective novel.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer on PAST CRIMES
“Page-turning and poignant, with not a drop of phony sentiment or overwriting. Grade: A” on PAST CRIMES
“Hamilton begins lobbing hand grenades into the room about three-quarters of the way through and doesn’t let up until practically the last page, piling surprises and explosions on top of each other.”
You're Killing Me! on PAST CRIMES Stop
“This powerful debut novel introduces a quick-witted and resilient protagonist able to hold his own on both sides of the law.”
Steven James
“Glen Erik writes taut, hard-edged thrillers that I simply can’t put down. Tight prose. Intriguing characters. Here is some fantastic storytelling you don’t want to miss.”
Publishers Weekly
★ 01/05/2015
Hamilton’s accomplished debut introduces Van Shaw, an Army ranger who returns home to Seattle after 10 years, in response to a terse message from the man who raised him, his grandfather Donovan “Dono” Shaw: “Come home, if you can.” Dono taught Shaw to be like him, a skillful and careful thief, but at 18, Shaw left him after a bitter fight and joined the army. On arrival at Dono’s house, Shaw finds him on the floor, dying of a gunshot wound. In his quest for vengeance, Shaw connects with Dono’s old buddies Hollis Brant, a smuggler, and Jimmy Corcoran, a tech expert. Shaw has to figure out what Dono was up to, and he needs all his criminal skills and ranger training to do so. Hamilton details Shaw’s upbringing in sharply honed flashbacks and surrounds him with a cast of intriguing characters on both sides of the law. Readers will be eager to see more of this tough, clever hero. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Kirkus Review
A combat-tested Army Ranger returns home to investigate the shooting of his grandfather in this debut novel.Van Shaw is recovering from a recent combat injury when he receives a letter from his estranged grandfather Dono asking him to come home to Seattle. He doesn't know why his grandfather wants to see him, and the tension ratchets up when he arrives to find that Dono has just been shot by an intruder. During the police investigation, it becomes clear that Dono may not be an innocent victim because, as Hamilton tersely states, "Dono Shaw was a thief." The novel develops into a divided narrative split between the contemporary investigation into Dono's shooting and flashbacks to Van's experiences of being raised by a career criminal. Van was exposed to a felonious world from which he escaped by joining the Army after high school. Van discovers that Dono's last heist may have led to his shooting, and in the process, he's pulled back into his grandfather's criminal culture. To solve the mystery, Van must make use of the thief's skill set he learned from Dono and reconnect with his grandfather's old cronies in Seattle's underworld. Throw in a buried family secret, a love interest with an alluring woman and some missing diamonds, and you have the recipe for an exciting heir to the classic detective novel. A well-written modern rendition of the old-fashioned gritty noir.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Van Shaw Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.00(d)

Meet the Author

A native of Seattle, Glen Erik Hamilton grew up aboard a sailboat, and spent his youth finding trouble around the marinas and commercial docks and islands of the Pacific Northwest. He now lives in Burbank, California, with his family, punctuated by frequent visits to his hometown to soak up the rain.

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Past Crimes: A Van Shaw Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Buecherwurm161 10 months ago
A Promising Start to a new Series. I got this book as a present and I thoroughly enjoyed it, not only because it takes place in my home state of Washington, and its always fun to read about places you are familiar with, but also because the storyline grabbed me right from the first page and held my attention until the end. I especially liked all the complex and interesting characters, and the book was peppered with plenty of mystery, action and even a little bit of romance. I can't wait to see what will happen next, and I hope that there will be many more books in the series. Nicely written and very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reads fast and I really liked Van. His back story was fascinating ! Can't wait for the second book in this series !