Calling upon his considerable novelistic skills, Loren D. Estleman exposes the black heart of a seemingly stable, well-run city suddenly pitched into violence and chaos. A delicate balance of forces--greed and corruption, ambition and desire--run out of control in the wake of a serial killer's grisly rampage. A power struggle--between a police chief who has looked the other way for too long, a Mafia boss who holds the city's vices in his powerful grasp, and media reporters looking for a big story--turns what has been a minor dispute into a desperate struggle for survival. Setting this drama in a blue-collar metropolis dominated by an oil company, Estleman, with an unerring eye for telling detail and an ear for dialogue that reveals the secret desires of his characters, crafts a fascinating, deadly tapestry of love, ambition, revenge, and redemption, a stunning portrait of the human condition. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Shamus-winner Estleman, best known for his hard-boiled Amos Walker series (American Detective, etc.), creates a new, morally complex world in this razor-sharp tale of crime and corruption in a fictional eastern U.S. city. Gas City, once known as Garden Grove, has enjoyed stability as a result of understandings among the politicians, the police and the local gangsters. An enclave known as the Circle serves as the community's vice outlet, while the rest of the metropolis is virtually crime free. Police chief Francis Russell, after his wife's death, begins to question the devil's bargain he'd struck years earlier with mob boss Anthony Zeno. When Russell resumes acting like a lawman, virtually everyone in town feels the repercussions. Estleman masterfully creates a wide and diverse cast of characters, and sympathetically portrays their struggles to survive on the mean streets. A superfluous serial killer subplot doesn't detract from the author's achievement, which will justly be compared with that of James Ellroy's Los Angeles noir mysteries and John Gregory Dunne's True Confessions. Admirers of unsparing crime fiction will hope that Estleman plans to visit Gas City again. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 07, 2008
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