Damnation Street

Damnation Street by Andrew KlavanThey are two sworn enemies with a single obsession: a woman on the run from them both. Scott Weiss is a private detective. John Foy is a professional killer. The woman is Julie Wyant, a hooker with the face of an angel. There’s only one man who can find her: Weiss, the best locate operative in the business. Now, from a town called Paradise, through a wilderness that feels like hell, Weiss searches for Julie—and the killer follows, waiting for his chance. They are two expert hunters matching move for move—until it ends on Damnation Street.

“Two-time Edgar winner Klavan again puts his own quirky spin on classic noir in his slam-bang third contemporary crime thriller to feature PIs Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop (after 2004′s Shotgun Alley). Paunchy, moralistic Weiss, head of the Weiss Detective Agency in San Francisco, is still searching for bewitching prostitute Julie Wyant (aka Julie Angel), who’s threatened by a relentless murderer the press has dubbed “the Shadowman.” Weiss’s nihilistic operative, Bishop, ignores all caution to help his boss. The terse, third-person narration occasionally switches to first person as Klavan, who claims to have worked for Weiss, inserts himself in the story, which he describes as a fictionalized memoir. While this authorial intrusion may interrupt the main action, it leads to some hilarious consequences. After drawing the reader in with a gripping plot and engrossing characters, Klavan produces a jolt at the end when he slyly reveals that… it’s all fiction!”
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“A haunted, hard-drinking PI. A whore with a heart of gold. A remorseless killer with a gift for disguise. Blood, rain, and long nights behind the wheel. It takes genuine talent to make these tropes feel fresh–and Klavan’s got talent to burn. In the successor to Dynamite Road (2003) and Shotgun Alley (2004), shambling, intuitive Scott Weiss is trying to save Julie Wyant, a hooker he has never met, from the Shadowman, a psychopath intent on torturing her to death. Weiss hunts Julie knowing full well he is being followed, leading the killer to his prey in order to bring him into the open. It’s a great plot device, creating a bizarrely symbiotic relationship between Weiss and the Shadowman. Adding to this book’s pleasures is the way Klavan posits it as a fictionalized memoir, inserting himself into the story as a budding writer and wannabe tough guy. His youthful naivete casts Weiss’ weary-souled musings on the dark side of human nature into even sharper relief. Damnation Street has it all: great characters, inventive plotting, darkness, light, horror, and humor, all fused into a relentless tale of suspense that will have readers in agony to know how the final shot is fired.” – Keir Graff
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