The first review of Four of Clubs: Murder in the High Sierra is up! You can read the whole review by fellow novelist John Pearce at this address.
Pearce is a perceptive reviewer: he picks up on the complexity and ambiguity of Four of Clubs and manages to give readers a good sense of what the novel is about without spoilers.
Here’s an example. Pearce writes: “Three adolescent boys, childhood friends, meet a beguiling half-Persian girl, fourteen years old but fully adult in matters of sex. Over forty years the inevitable tensions boil over. The result: murder. More than one…. The girl is Serena Swallow, exiled to California for an abortion, which will not be her last. There are hints of abuse and scars of past trauma.”
Pearce goes on to note that “Four of Clubs is a subtle novel, written by an author deeply familiar with the area. His previous California novel, The Gardener of Eden, was also a story of depth. Both benefit from being read twice: Once for the pure pleasure of the story, again for the deeper story and relationships.”