'The last good mystery' Rolling Stone
'As sweetly profane a poet as American noir could have asked for' Ian Rankin
'A friggin' masterpiece' Dennis Lehane
'The stunner that reinvigorated the genre and jacked up a generation of future crime novelists' George Pelecanos
Meet Private Detective C. W. Sughrue.
Private detectives are supposed to find missing persons and solve crimes. But more often than not Sughrue is the one committing the crimes – everything from grand theft auto to criminal stupidity. All washed down with a hearty dose of whiskey and regret.
At the end of a three-week hunt for a runaway bestselling author, Sughrue winds up in a ramshackle bar, with an alcoholic bulldog. The landlady’s daughter vanished a decade ago and now she wants Sughrue to find her. His search will take him to the deepest, darkest depths of San Francisco’s underbelly, a place as fascinating, frightening and flawed as he is.
Welcome to James Crumley’s America.
“Crumley writes like an angel on speed”
“The poet laureate of American hard-boiled literature, superior even to James Lee Burke in his ability to evoke extreme melancholy, gruesome violence and an acute sense of landscape”
“Reading Crumley is like hurtling through an assault course...funny, salty and ruthless...one of the marvels of contemporary crime writing”
“Like James Ellroy, he is a master of American vernacular, turning tough-guy slang into something like poetry”
“James Crumley, a critically acclaimed crime novelist whose drug-infused, alcohol-soaked, profanity-laced, breathtakingly violent books swept the hard-boiled detective from the Raymond Chandler era into an amoral, utterly dissolute, apocalyptic post-Vietnam universe”
New York Times
“Crumley is the singular reason that a lot of today’s forty-something writers headed straight into crime fiction”
“Crumley is a brilliant purveyor of dialogue and a master of melancholy loneliness.”
Marcel Berlins, The Times