The book jacket bills this as a mystery starring Randy Chalmers, who investigates the shady circumstances surrounding his AA sponsor Terry’s death and uncovers a ring of pot dealers, shady recovery houses, pornography and love children. Sounds like a standard fun mystery/thriller about an ex-cop seeking justice, right? Only sort of. This book was not quite as advertised – it reads like a story primarily about recovery, with a mystery B plot.
Randy works his network of friends and acquaintances (and enemies) made through AA to slowly figure out the truth about Terry’s life, and death. By using AA as Randy’s exclusive support network, Barden tells some really affecting stories about the recovery process. Each person in Randy’s network recovered (or didn’t) in their own way. New member Troy, son of a famous mobster, needs constant watching and guidance while Emma, the former reality TV star, needs to work through her issues on her own – with someone there to protect her as needed. Some people turned their recovery into a new, profitable line of business; while others found that recovery could only do so much in salvaging their sad lives.