Blog Tour: City of Fear, Sean O’Leary

Book Review: City of Fear, Carter Thompson Mysteries Book 2, Sean O’Leary

City of Fear, Sean O’Leary

Mystery: City of Fear, Carter Thompson Mysteries Book 2, Sean O’Leary


Author’s choices fascinate me. Some stories feel complete. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the tried and true method, the way we were taught in school. Even in novels that are part of a series this formula often rules. There may be developments that look back or look ahead, but to a degree each novel is its own book, connected to the others but still standing alone.


Other authors, though, make different choices. City of Fear by Sean O’Leary could, I suppose, be read without having first read City of Sin. Trust me, you don’t want to. These books are tightly bound together, with story lines, characters, and connective tissue of all sorts. Set in the gritty and dark sections of Sydney, far from the opera house and tourist spots, this is a noir series with all the smoke and sex and violence and booze a reader could want.


Carter “Cash” Thompson has moved on from the police and is now what we Americans would call a private detective. An Aboriginal man, he is tough and determined and not afraid to get his hands dirty to close his cases. Early on he is offered two cases, both of which he accepts. One is to find the missing daughter of a local man. The other is to determine whether the son of his former boss at the police station is doing or selling drugs. On the side, he also follows up on a money-collection job for an acquaintance. Wanting some back-up, he takes his cousin with him on the job.


The collection job, though, goes terribly sideways, and his cousin is shot and admitted to intensive care. Thompson is filled with guilt. He truly loves his cousin, and is horrified to realize that he put him in danger, especially after his best friend was killed during a previous case.


The cases proceed, but the story is much more about Carter Thompson the man than it is Carter Thompson the detective. Just what kind of man is he? What kind of man does he want to be? He loves his girlfriend, but has cheated on her. He wants to see justice done, but is not afraid to take the law into his own hands. He is a determined and committed detective, but is he determined and convicted enough to keep working jobs that get him beaten up and his family and friends endangered? His girlfriend is mad at him, his daughter is mad at him, his former boss has issues with him, his family is furious about his cousin coming to harm–and these are the people who care for him.


Some stories begin at the beginning. City of Fear plucks Thompson’s story from the middle, allowing the reader to catch up with a life being led, then sending the reader off to wait for the next installment. Based on the first two novels in this series, it will be dark and powerful, gritty and sexy and full of smoke and booze. Just the way a noir novel should be. Sam Spade has nothing on Carter Thompson.


Our thanks to Zoe from Zooloos Blog Tours, who provided us with our copy of City of Fear for a blog tour that ended up getting canceled. Regardless, we appreciate the offer and the invitation, and hope for future opportunities to read books from this author.


City of Fear, Sean O’Leary

Book Review: City of Fear, Carter Thompson Mysteries Book 2, Sean O’Leary

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