S W Lauden has taken the potential that he displayed in his debut novel, Bad Citizen Corporation (BCC) and turned himself into the newest must-read author in the PI genre. Grizzly Season, the follow up to the kick-ass Bad Citizen Corporation follows the exploits of Greg Salem as he deals with the aftermath of his heroics in BCC.
While Salem is looking to clear his head by taking a mountain bike ride with his best friend and former bandmate, Marco, he stumbles into the clutches of Magnus,a drug dealer who has a plan to hit the big time with one massive drug deal which will allow him to retire. Magnus has been developing a high-grade strain of marijuana that's mixed with some higher potency drugs that delivers a Grizzly Bear high. He tries to strong-arm Salem to join the operation, but Salem manages to escape, and while he manages to rescue Kristen, a young drifter caught up in Magnus’ scheme, he is forced to leave Marco in the clutches of the dealer.
While Salem may not have been able to get Marco out of Magnus’ camp, he refuses to give up and spends his time teaching the mountains and woods for signs of his friend and Magnus and he is prepared to do anything necessary to rescue his buddy. Mix in a new love interest for Salem, an impending family life, a desire to be a role model for his friend’s fatherless son, and the baggage from the shooting of the boy with the blue hat (detailed in BCC) and you have a book that is on a slow simmer just waiting to boil over.
In Grizzly Season, Lauden offers readers the perfect mix of sex, drugs, and (punk)rock-n-roll, but also infuses it with heart, heart-break, and most importantly, a poet’s touch. Lauden offers so much more than a standard PI read, he offers up a raw, gritty picture of the life of the PI, warts and all. Salem is no saint, but he is a man who has heart, seeks to do the right thing, and is looking to make the world a better place for those he loves. The fact that Lauden strips Salem down to the core and shows the reader his struggles to be a good friend, a good father, and most importantly a good father, while also allowing his insecurities and vulnerabilities to shine through is a huge strength to this book. Salem is a character worthy of a series and the ending to this great read will have you salivating for the next book in this series.
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski.