Adieu Warm Sunshine – C. E. Case

Adieu Warm Sunshine - C. E. CaseThis is an unusual story. Starts in what feels like chaos and gradually resolves into a complex weave of subplots and a romance.

Pamela is a dancer on a poorly received NY stage show. A small time addict with a few shady dealings. Sunny is some sort of cop, working with NYPD and doing her ‘real’ job on the side. Neither are quite what they seem.

When a steamy one-night stand brings them together they both clearly want more. But Pamela disappears without a trace, leaving Sunny wondering who has taken her, and why. The chase ensues.

The writing is tense, the tone is raw and the whole is reminiscent of a 70’s film noir spy movie, but somehow it grabs you. There are more dodgy characters than you can keep track of, and virtually nobody who appears wholly good. The sub plots intertwine in such a way that one is left unsure who is actually guilty of what, only that nearly everybody involved in the show has something to hide. Drugs, child porn, money laundering – and that’s just the ‘bad guys’ – the law isn’t far behind in its count of illegal activities.

Despite the alternating POV and the insights into Pamela and Sunny, we don’t really get to know them. They remain enigmas, distant and distrustful, despite their obvious bond. For all Pamela’s naiveté she is perfectly self contained, and Sunny is the ultimate chameleon, emotionally distant.

The pace is fast, with occasional instant of stillness that throw the characters into stark relief, literally spotlit by a moment of emotional rawness. It’s a page-turner because you  never know where it is going next. Even at the end I was left with a sense of not really knowing what had been resolved and what left hanging, there are just too many layers of obscurity to end with any clarity.

I enjoyed it. I can’t quite say why, except it captured my imagination in some indefinable way. I didn’t fall for the characters, I’m not sure I even liked them – the most emotionally available was Vash, Sunny’s NYPD Blue partner. I got lost in the plot. I felt by the end I that maybe I should have taken notes. But despite all that I was transported to their shady world and would certainly visit again if the final twist implies a sequel.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Supposed Crimes (August 1, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01F6CE9Z8
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