Critically-acclaimed author Ed Kovacs presents Book Two in his thrilling Cliff Saint James series of murder mystery crime novels set in New Orleans. Publisher’s Weekly gave Good Junk the rare honor of a starred, boxed review, calling it “outstanding,” and saying that “powerful prose elevates this above most other contemporary PI novels.” The New York Times Book Review said, “The scenes of New Orleans are rich and real.” And Steve Berry called Kovacs a “vivid addition to the thriller genre.”
Cliff Saint James, like the city of New Orleans, has taken his share of hard knocks. First there was the killer Hurricane that destroyed his hometown, ruined his mixed-martial-arts dojo, and nearly bankrupted him. A former cop, he narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of ruthless gangs while solving his first murder case as a private eye. Now after rebuilding his life, trouble has found him again.
While wrestling with guilt over having accidentally killed a mixed-martial-arts opponent in a sparring session, Saint James finds himself assisting a police investigation into the apparent suicide of a U.S. government “black projects” engineer. He and his good friend Honey, now a homicide detective, quickly realize they have murder, not suicide on their hands, and that the victim was much more than just an engineer.
As they track the killer through the brackish, steamy under belly of New Orleans, their allies become few, and their many opponents emerge as powerful international forces intent on doing anything—including killing Saint James—to maintain the status quo of a shocking conspiracy.
This revised and updated edition of Good Junk is in the time-honored tradition of works by Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Lee Child, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammet, James Ellroy, and Dennis Lehane.
Set a year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Kovacs's outstanding second Cliff St. James novel (after 2011's Storm Damage) finds St. James, a private investigator who's also a mixed martial arts instructor, distraught over accidentally killing his opponent during a sparring session. The self-doubt St. James now feels proves a handicap when his close friend and not quite lover, NOPD homicide detective Honey Baybee, recruits him to officially assist with what she believes is a murder/suicide case. Two dead men, possibly gay lovers, have turned up in a grubby parking lot, one of them with his brains blown out in the passenger seat of a Mercedes S550. As both victims did sensitive work for the Defense Department at the local NASA assembly facility, St. James and Baybee encounter more than a little federal interference with the case. St. James may fit the familiar wiseass detective mold, but powerful prose that evokes a city still struggling to recover its infrastructure and identity elevates this well beyond most other contemporary PI novels.