Robert P. French
Junkie is the first book in a series about Cal Rogan. I admit to some reluctance to read a book where our hero was in fact a Junkie. Encouraged by my friend Judith Baxter I turned to the first page and was hooked.
What’s makes Cal our true hero is the clear crisp writing, realistic and believable, without any of the self pity and whining and moaning often associated with first person addiction stories.
His path from functioning valued member of society to loss, homelessness, and recovery of sorts, whilst solving obvious and less obvious mysteries makes this a story difficult to put down.
His love/hate relationship with himself and those around him, particularly Roy, and his dead best friend whose relationship with him may or may not have been what he interpreted it as, strikes a chord of the reality we live with every day.
French puts a human face to a population in the shadows. Successes, failures, and in this case mysterious deaths.
The easy path to substance addiction is chilling and leaves one with a ..there but for the Grace of God…type of reaction, and an awareness that all that can change in a moment.
His relationship with his daughter and ex, his desire to be more, to be better is woven through out, partnered with the inability to succeed.
This is a story about perseverance, struggle, being right, being wrong, succeeding and failing. Failing is not the end of the story. This story is more than anything, about HOPE. The thing that drives all of us.
The humanness of the tale, and the characters, the truths both recognized and not recognized are the the truths of our own lives.
French is an excellent story teller, weaving suspense and surprise twists in a delicious fashion that is sublime.