Stagger Bay by Pearce Hansen

Product Description

Markus, Stagger Bay’s protagonist, is a man who overcame a horrendous childhood and criminal youth to go straight and raise a family. His violent past makes him an easy fall guy to frame for a gruesome mass murder and he’s sentenced to life without parole, losing his family in the process. Exonerated and freed on DNA evidence after seven years, Markus is shortly thrust into a bloody do-or-die fracas during an elementary school hostage situation, becoming an overnight hero. Everyone wants in on the media feeding frenzy; to his dismay, paparazzi and news crews hound him wherever he goes. Unfortunately they’re not the only ones stalking him.Can Markus find the path back into his estranged son’s heart? What’s Markus supposed to do, when he discovers fifteen minutes of fame is the worst thing that could ever happen to him? What can he do, now that his town is hunting ground to serial killers and rogue cops working together – and the shadowy force behind them is turning its cold, deadly eye straight at him?

Before you delve into this novel, and I highly recommend that you do, make sure you have a bottle of painkillers at hand, for this is one hell of a hard hitting novel.  By the time you turn the last page, you will be reeling from the the sheer amount of violence held within these pages.  Don’t fret though Stagger Bay has a lot more to offer the reader than just pages and pages of unadulterated violence.  Hansen has the writing props to elevate this story from clichéd overkill into a taught and thrilling example of a modern Noir.  

With Markus, Hansen has created a brilliant protagonist, this isn’t a one dimensional killing machine, Markus has been painted in a glorious rainbow of  grey.  Trapped by his circumstances, trapped by his past, Markus doesn’t just jump straight back onto the bandwagon of violence, like a rabid dog.  This is a man determined to go straight, a  man determined not to forced back into a life style he was worked so hard to escape from.  This strong sense of characterisation of Markus and and the rest of this novels cast, along with some cracking dialogue and an extremely tight narrative lifts this book into the the upper reaches of the genre.  


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