Sometimes you begin a new book and you know right away that it's going to be a wonderful read.
Such is the case with "Pyres" by Derek Nikitas.
The novel depicts the interrelated stories of Luc "Lucia" just turning 16 when she persuades her father to take her to the mall. She steals two CD's and asks her father to leave immediately before the security forces in the mall can catch her. However in the parking lot, her father is killed in a bungled robbery attempt.
Tanya is the pregnant girlfriend of Mason, a gang wannabe who seeks to impress his meth selling friends by killing Luc's father.
Greta Hurd, a homicide detective who has a relationship problem with her own grown daughter but is assigned the case involving Luc's father and when Luc's mother attempts suicide because of her grief, Greta feels a motherly or big sister need to solve the murder and make Luc's life somewhat more livable.
Pyres is a short story writer who streamlines his scenes with such intensity and purity that the reader is captivated.
The novel was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American writer.