There are multiple deaths that plague the story in Gabriel Veiga’s YESTERDAY IS NOT YET GONE. First, Ethan Gregory, a beloved Hollywood artist, is found murdered inside of the Presidential Suite at the exclusive Four Seasons in New York City. Two old-school NYPD detectives, Judy Hunter and Fred Gibbins, are called to the scene. Hunter is set to retire, and it appears that the Gregory case will be her last. This is not to be, as several notes from the killer of Ethan Gregory presage the murder of Gibbins, who is found hung in his apartment not long after Hunter’s retirement party. Hunter, along with Charlotte Gibbins, the daughter of the late homicide investigator, have to track down the illusive serial killer known only as the Executioner.
The chapters in YESTERDAY IS NOT YET GONE are short and punchy, and reading them is like sitting onboard a fast-moving train. The action comes fast and heavy. Detective Hunter is always at the center of the action, and so too is Charlotte after she makes her appearance. Comparing this novel to a female-centric Lethal Weapon is a bit on the nose, but there is a kernel of truth. YESTERDAY IS NOT YET GONE combines a serial killer whodunit with the comfort of the buddy cop genre. It just so happens this time that the buddies are women.
All of the novel takes place in New York. Surprisingly, the scenes net in the Big Apple feel a little flat and could honestly take place in any major American city. The scenes set in Rockland County, New York, a somewhat bucolic environment full of sleepy towns surrounded by the Hudson River, are far more engaging. The more rural climes of Rockland, where the Gibbins family calls home, make for the cat-and-mouse scenes featuring the Executioner all the more chilling.
While the characters are somewhat stilted (Hunter and Charlotte are often more stereotypical than believably three-dimensional), the story pulls through and makes one forget about the hiccups and warts. The chase for the Executioner is so well done, and the conclusion makes the whole novel worth it. YESTERDAY IS NOT YET DONE is a new entry in the classic tradition of the American murder mystery, and fans of the genre are sure to be pleased.
Author Gabriel Veiga brings the heat with his taut and tense YESTERDAY IS NOT GONE, a visceral detective story that confronts multiple themes at once, from inchoate feminism to high school bullying. But most important of all, the novel tells a gripping story that will leave readers guessing.
~Benjamin Welton for IndieReader