In M.G. Herron's new mystery thriller, CULTURE SHOCK, we are introduced to Anderson Gunn, a bounty hunter in Austin, Texas. With an office down on East Sixth Street, he is smack in the middle of the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe of the capital city, and it is his kind of place. However, a series of financial burdens, including paying off his mother’s final medical bills, are threatening his solvency and ability to keep his office open and his head above water. So when a long-time client, bail bondsman Alek Ludwig, sends some lucrative work his way, one of Ludwig’s clients has skipped a court date and is suspected of killing a coworker at the power company, Gunn is highly motivated to bring in his man.
At the scene of the coworker’s murder, Gunn runs into an old friend who is also interested in the missing man, Detective Sheila Gonzalez. She doesn’t want Gunn meddling in her case but still confirms some of the information he needs to continue his search. While at the site, Gunn catches a glimpse of two other detective types, but when he goes for a better look, they’ve disappeared. As Gunn investigates the skip’s whereabouts, he realizes he’s being tailed by the two odd detectives, and when they show up at his office, he discovers that Austin is legitimately way more weird than anyone ever imagined. The two business-suited detectives, in actuality, are alien peacekeepers posing as humans as are hundreds of other "offworlders" in the city where they’ve come to vacation or live, hiding in plain sight, and they are after the alien that has taken over the body/skin of the man Gunn is pursuing.
Part detective novel, part Men-In-Black-style sci-fi thriller, CULTURE SHOCK Is a fun page-turner of a book. The Austin setting is perfect, and the characters that populate the city bring the feel of the place to life. They were charming “people,” and I quickly began to care about what was going to happen to them. This book was so good I immediately picked up the next in the series.
I recommend this book for readers that like fun sci-fi and those that would enjoy an alien element in their mystery. CULTURE SHOCK is available in several formats: ebook, Audible Audio, paperback, and even Audio CD through Amazon. Currently, the ebook is part of the Kindle Unlimited subscription.