Michael Castleman (author); KILLER WEED; MP Publishing USA (Fiction: Mystery) 14.95 ISBN: 9781849822404
Byline: Thomas H. Brennan
Crisp and visual imagery, brisk and humorous dialogue -- this novel's prose will capture the attention of those interested in San Francisco's hippie history.
Michael Castleman's Killer Weed is a nostalgic remembrance of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco in the decade after the assassination of President Kennedy. Husband and wife newspaper team, Ed and Julie Rosenberg are cobbling together an economic life in the aftermath of the newspaper decline in the twenty-first century. Ed stumbles on a retrospective exhibit financed by a billionaire determined to find his true identity, while Julie is planning a long career as a press correspondent with the favored candidate in the mayoral race -- until he is murdered.
The pace of the book wavers between the traditional page-turning quest for the killer and an essay exalting the lost nirvana of the city. As Ed delves into the mystery of the murder he encounters characters from San Francisco past. Each character provides a small clue to keep Ed focused on solving the murder and learning the identity of his well-healed benefactor.
Most of the reformed characters Ed meets are unusually loquacious but they appear, recite their fond remembrances, offer a clue, and flame out. The billionaire's childhood among the hippies of the 60s is enticing, but after Ed's initial meeting with the recluse, he returns to his hermitage. Paul Nightingale, an ex-dealer turned handyman, provides a lengthy description of the business...