Three years ago, detective John Blake solved a mystery that changed his life forever – and left a woman he loved dead. Now Blake is back, to investigate the apparent suicide of Dorothy Louise Burke, a beautiful college student with a double life. The secrets Blake uncovers could blow the lid off New York City’s sex trade…if they don’t kill him first.
Richard Aleas’ first novel, LITTLE GIRL LOST, was among the most celebrated crime novels of the year, receiving nominations for both the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Shamus Award. But nothing in John Blake’s first case could prepare you for the shocking conclusion of his second…
Aleas, the pen name for Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai, solidifies his reputation as one of the finer modern hard-boiled writers with his second John Blake novel (following 2004's Little Girl Lost). Blake, a young but already deeply scarred detective, has given up PI work his last case cost him the life of his lover, and almost that of a dear friend, so Blake has taken a sedate job as an administrative assistant at Columbia University, where he's enrolled in a creative writing class. When a classmate and confidant, Dorothy Burke, dies in her bathtub, the police take one look at the plastic bag over her head and the copy of Final Exit nearby, and declare it a suicide. Dorothy's mother has other ideas and ropes Blake back into his old trade to pursue her suspicions that Dorothy was murdered. Before she died, Dorothy let Blake in on her secret life as a prostitute information the police don't have and he pursues that lead deep into New York City's violent underworld. Throughout, Aleas effortlessly channels the spirit of the pulps with crisp prose and an unrelentingly grim plot line, and his powerful conclusion will drop jaws.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Edgy and Unconventional
Brilliantly written and conceived. Definitely not the conventional novel. Worthwhile reading Little Girl Lost first, for context. Clearly better than many of the authors whose books are re-treads of their prior dull products. A very good read.