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Don't Ever Look Back    by Daniel Friedman order for
Don't Ever Look Back
by Daniel Friedman
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Buck Schatz is a fantastic mystery antihero, a hard-boiled dick of the old school. I delighted in his debut in Don't Ever Get Old and am happy to find him still with us for this encore (he is eighty-eight years old, after all!)

After injuries sustained in Don't Ever Get Old, Buck and his wife Rose have had to sell their home and move to the Valhalla Estates Lifestyle Community for Older Adults, where Buck can have badly needed rehab treatment. He's constantly in trouble with the staff, even though he now needs a walker to get around.

This mystery begins with a visit from an old nemesis of Buck's, master criminal Elijah who had 'emptied more banks than the panic of 1929.' Daniel Friedman moves his story back and forth in time to show the relationship between past encounters and Buck's current challenges with Elijah. A concentration camp survivor, the latter feels that as 'society's eternal outsiders', Jews have every right to transgress.

Elijah tells Buck that his enemies are about to kill him and that he wants Buck to set up police protection for him. So Buck calls his only remaining police contact, young officer Andre Price and they set up a meet. When everything goes badly awry and he ends up back in hospital, it's rather late for Buck to recall how Elijah conned him in the past.

Despite the mystery's title, it's looking back on the past that helps Buck solve the present puzzle of what Elijah us up to, because the 'weakness of every lock is the man with the key'. I love this series and will follow it as long as Buck lasts. Enjoy Don't Ever Look Back and don't miss the Author's Note about the grandfather who was Buck's inspiration.

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