A New Dawn Rising has all the elements of the lone wolf, ex-cop with old wounds story genre. It is well put together without a lot of self-publishing hiccups, but I had a tough time getting behind Sam, the protagonist, early in the story. While it starts off well in the opening chapters, it does fade a bit as the author attempts to engage our intrigue in the story line and develops Sam's character before the action picks up midway through the story. It's also nice to meet a flawed person, Sam, who doesn't have all the answers. But his detective skills phase in and out of the story causing him to stumble along occasionally, sometimes making baffling decisions and mistakes that only worsen his situation. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but at times I felt led by the author less by the action. Not a major issue though.
In my novels, I also have a lot of characters for the reader to come to grips with. It's tough keeping them distinctive for the reader. The author did a good job for the most part. But too many of the characters were fairly shallower, almost cardboard cut-outs we've seen before. It took too long to get a feel for some of the main characters, like Carl. At first, I thought someone in his late 50's, than early 30's, than trying to piece the timeline, he must have been in his mid-40's. The same was true with Sam's love interest. I thought a teenager at first, then she turns out to be in her late twenties. Why important? Their actions were at times confusing based on what they should or could have been doing. Carl, himself, was the most confusing person to figure out, and left me wondering if he could have been the portrayed mastermind in business and crime.
The ending did wrap up a twisty plot despite the fact that I beat Sam (and the police) by 100 pages with anticipating the big reveal. For a debut novel, this is a good read, but lacks a definitive punch to make it a great read. It does have the look of a positive series. It is a solid 4.