A prequel to the CJ Floyd Mystery Series
CJ Floyd is twenty years old, just returning from a back to back tour in Vietnam Nam. Before he left for war though, he stashed an antique porcelain license plate behind the wall in a local pawn shop. CJ collects old memorabilia, and although his collections will probably never be complete, he'd sure like that license plate back.
When he goes to the pawn shop, he heads directly to the wall where he had stashed the plate a few years ago. But the wall is new, and covered with faded photographs. He meets Wiley Ames, a veteran of WWII who came home with half of his arm lost. He runs the pawn shop now, and recalls the plate that CJ is looking for. He knows there's a connection between him and CJ, he just can't quite put his finger on it.
CJ is having problems sleeping and night sweats and asks Ames for advice. The two strike up a friendship, so when Ames and his buddy Chin are found murdered, CJ's already fragile world is turned upside down. He tries to find his friends killer but hits a break wall everytime. So, to try and overcome his depression, he joins his uncles bail bondsman business and becomes a bounty hunter.
When a license plate shows up at a flea market five years later, CJ knows it had to be one in Ames collection. It triggers the murders all over again and this time CJ is ready to investigate. Filled with twists and turns, compelling and likeable characters and a solid plot, First of State is a engaging mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I have not read the CJ Floyd mystery series, so I did not know these characters. Fans of the series though, will enjoy reading of them when they were younger and how they all met. Thumbs up!!