After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor' The Times
Dave Brandstetter stands alongside Philip Marlowe, 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.
Rick Wendell never made an enemy in his life, but he died all the same; and Larry Johns was found standing over him with the gun in his hand still smoking. Only Dave can't see it as an open-and-shut case - what was Johns' motive? What happened to the cash Wendell withdrew that day? As his investigation progresses, he comes to realise the danger of assumptions, particularly where love and money are involved.