'After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor' The Times
Dave Brandstetter stands alongside Philip Marlow, Sam Spade and Lew Archer as one of the best fictional PIs in the business. Like them, he was tough, determined, and ruthless when the case demanded it. Unlike them, he was gay.
Joseph Hansen's groundbreaking novels follow Brandstetter as he investigates cases in which motives are murky, passions run high, and nothing is ever as simple as it looks. Set in 1970s and 80s California, the series is a fascinating portrait of a time and a place, with mysteries to match Chandler and Macdonald.
When foreign correspondent Adam Streeter is found shot dead, the police and his daughter both say suicide; but his life insurance company sends Dave in to check all the same. He soon realises that Adam was on the trail of a big story - so big that, as Dave digs deeper, he swiftly finds himself targeted by the same powerful and pitiless enemy.
This is the eighth novel by Joseph Hansen (Death Claims featuring independently wealthy, cultivated, fearlessand gayinsurance claims-death investigator Dave Brandstetter. His private life is low key and strictly background, and the intricate story line is what keeps the reader engrossed. When the body of Adam Streeter, a prominent journalist, is found by his blind, 17-year-old daughter Chrissie, suicide is at first suspected and then ruled out, but Brandstetter tenaciously follows the case. Utilizing a network of knowledgeable but offbeat friends, Brandstetter discovers that Streeter was about to disclose the whereabouts of the missing Interior Minister of the Central American country Los Inocente, General Cortez-Ortiz, a man so reknowned for his savagery that his nickname is El Carnicero, the Butcher. As Brandstetter probes deeper into the case, uncovering conspiracies and fraud in high places, he awakens powerful enemies and becomes the hunted rather than the hunter. Set in Southern California, the stylish and absorbing novel is supported by a cast of intelligent, spunky secondary characters. Brandstetter defies advice to drop the case and persists in his hunt for Streeter's killer, leading not only to a solution to the murder, but to an explosive and highly satisfying finale.