In Love and Bullets, we see Sam tentatively crawling around the edges of a possible relationship with Alan, a widower, and his sixteen-year-old daughter Alis. This is a compelling side to the real story in which Sam is hired to find out who has been sending threatening letters to a prominent psychiatrist, who is a proponent of the theory of "eugenics", which roughly explained is the idea of Darwin's natural selection, applied compulsorily to humans - weeding out the weak and infirm and stopping them from breeding; the creation of a "master race" of humanity through genetic selection. This whole aspect of the story as both fascinating and abhorrent and just added to my enjoyment of the mystery.
I love Howe's uncomplicated, forceful writing. There are few flowery phrases - like Sam Smith, her words are hard, clear and to the point. I rarely do this in reviews, but there was one sentence I really wanted to highlight, as for me it summed up the clarity and cleverness of Howe's narrative: "She had cried the rain,but there was still plenty of sunshine in her life and that sunshine would produce a rainbow." Cliched and trite, hmmmm....... maybe, but I loved it.
As you may have guessed by now, Love and Bullets: A Sam Smith Mystery, by Hannah Howe, was an out and out winner for me. I have no hesitation in awarding this story five great stars and can assure Ms Howe, this will not be the last Sam Smith Mystery I read. A fantastic story by a wonderful author. Thank you for the enjoyment.