The Sausalito Ferry to Hell
A Sean O'Farrell Mystery: Book 2
Mark McCracken's private eye novel The Sausalito Ferry to Hell features San Francisco based shamus Sean O'Farrell. It is a period piece set during the 1930's though the period never figures into McCracken's narrative in an important way. McCracken, like many practitioners of this style, makes great use of setting and he familiarizes readers early on with San Francisco and its environs. It isn't Raymond Chandler and Los Angeles level where the city is practically another character in the novel, but McCracken does a respectable job of emphasizing its importance. O'Farrell, as a character, is a mix of the Hammett styled rough-hewn private investigator, but there are shades of Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer present in the detective's more vulnerable moments. It makes for an effective combination.
Enjoyable detective story with enough plot twist and turns to keep the reader questioning who did what, and what's next.
I have read both books of the series and found them to be very enjoyable. Just like the first one, the second was hard to put down.
William S. Baird