August, 1968--The hippie era and the violent protests at the Democratic convention are the backdrop of Ed Gorman’s Bad Moon Rising.
The hippies have created a commune in Black River Falls, Iowa. The all-too-typical Christian minister Rev. Cartwright has written a play condemning them. Then there’s a murder.
Lawyer and investigator Sam McCain agrees to defend one of hippies against a murder charge. Someone has killed the daughter of a wealthy businessman in Black River Falls. She is promiscuous. There are a lot of suspects. The young man who seems to be guilty kills himself. But McCain keeps on investigating.
All of Black River Falls is against McCain. He is not just defending an obviously guilty hippie, but he also protests the Vietnam War.
Sam continues his love affair with the previously-snobbish Wendy Bennett. And the book ends on a not surprising, but sad, note.
This is another one of those “a good way to lose yourself” books. It takes you away for a few hours. It reminds you of a time many of us remember. It has humor and strong feeling.
I enjoy Ed Gorman’s Sam McCain mysteries.