Officer Sam Wright finds a dead infant in a run-down hotel on First Avenue. Sam has seen many things but the image of this child who died of malnutricion is somehting he won't forget. He learns that the baby's mother, Alberta Sanchez, worked at a nearby Donut Shop but has disappeared.
As he begins the paperwork at police headquarters, he wonders about the hopelessness that seems to exist with the people he came in contact with at the hotel.
With the death of the baby weighing heavily on Sam's mind, he wants to search for answers about what happened.
There seems to be a connection with this Donut Shop and in an unusual coincidence, a young woman, not much more than a girl, comes to Seattle looking for Sam. She seems timid and when she stops in at the Donut Shop, she gets a job there.
Sam's favorite place on First Avenue is Silvie's Restaurant where he often stops in to relax when not on duty. Sam has seen the young woman at the Donut Shop and learned her name is Marie. He tells Sylvie about Marie and asks if Sylvie would be willing to hire her since Sam feels that the Donut Shop is unsafe.
The author's manner of writing is descriptive and, at times poetic, "She laughed for a moment, but her laughter startled her as though waking from a dream. He watched her eyes turn sad."
I was moved by Lowen Clausen's characters with some of the coldhearted criminals so well described that I wanted to express some anger with them. At the same time, There are a number of well meaning people, including Sam, attempting to make life a little better with their compassionate manner and desire to help.
This is a wonderful and uplifting adventure. I enjoyed the setting, the characters who came to life in the pages and the story itself. "First Avenue" is written by a former Seattle police officer and his descriptions are so well done that's it's as if we're sitting in the passenger seat of his police cruiser watching events unfold.