Daniel Friedman has certainly created a memorable protagonist in Baruch “Buck” Schatz, who believably comes off as an 88-year old curmudgeon. A retired Memphis detective, Buck is a bit of anti-hero with questionable morals, most certainly shaped by his experiences as a WWII vet, as well as on the police force. Following a gunshot injury, Buck has now been forced into assisted living, where pressing concerns include annoying neighbors and physical therapy. His usual routine is interrupted when Elijah, a thief and foe from Buck’s past, shows up asking for help.
The novel alternates between Buck’s present in 2009 and 1965, when he was one of the few Jewish detectives on the Memphis police force. In this time period, racial tension is naturally involved here in the case, and the story is as much about Buck’s struggles with moral issues as it is about Elijah’s seemingly “unsolved” bank heist. Don’t Ever Look Back is an enjoyable crime novel that is in turns both funny and poignant.
A review copy was provided through the goodreads.com first reads program.