Those of us who were around in 1965 will never forget those days. I always think of the Pete Seeger song "Wasn't that a Time?" And Ed Gorman captures it so well in Ticket to Ride that it's almost like taking a trip back there in a time machine. That alone is enough to make the book worth reading, but of course you always get a lot more in a book by Gorman.
This is part of the Sam McCain series, and if you haven't read it, you're missing one of the finest series of mystery novels around. Period. I can't understand why they're not selling ten times as many copies as the stuff I see on the bestseller list.
Okay, that's not true. I can, and I'll tell you why. (1) The books don't offer you a mile-a-minute chase through exotic settings around the world. They're set in the small city of Black River Falls, where people have lived together and known each other since their school days. (2) They don't have larger-than-live villains with names like The Homicidalist. All the people are ordinary folks, just like you and me and our neighbors, human beings with flaws and good points who sometimes make some really bad decisions. (3) There's no larger-than-life hero, either. McCain's no cryptologist with a Ph.D. in Arcania. He's just a guy with problems of his own. (4) What happens in the books won't shake the world from Peking to the Kremlin to Washington. It will shake the town of Black River Falls, though, and it will shake the people there. It will shake you if you read the book. What happens to the people in the book will matter to you. (5) The book's not 500 pages long. It's longer than a classic Gold Medal, I suppose, but it's lean and streamlined. And the writing is so good that you'll wish you could do as well.
Okay, I haven't even said anything specific about the book, and I don't think I will. You should just read it, and if you haven't read the other books in the series, read them, too. They're funny, they're heartbreaking, they're good mysteries. Find out what you've been missing. You'll thank me later.