Jim Bishop is a hard man, as cold as the wind off the water and tough to the point of brutality. Scott Weiss is Bishop’s boss, a world-weary ex-cop who runs a private detective agency out of a concrete tower in the heart of San Francisco. In this powerfully original series debut by award-winning and bestselling author Andrew Klavan, Weiss sends Bishop to investigate corruption at a Northern California airport-and so sets events in motion that will lead both men on a desperate hunt for a master assassin.
Bishop’s assignment is to investigate the airport and report back to Weiss. But Bishop prefers to make up the rules as he goes along. He’s willing to beat any man into the ground and draw any woman into his bed in order to get the answers he’s after. A pilot himself, he takes to the air to check out the illegal flights of a thug names Chris Wannamaker. Then he coolly seduces Wannamaker’s lonely wife in order to find out more.
Back in the city, as Weiss struggles to rein Bishop in, he begins a connected investigation of his own. A death in a mansion in Presidio Heights, a seemingly random murder South of Market, an apparent suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge, all seem to bear the mark of Weiss’ old nemesis, an expert gun-for-hire who goes by the name of the Shadowman. It’s a trail of blood, and each step of it seems to bring Weiss closer to Julie Wyant, a mysterious beauty who captures the imagination of every man she meets.
Soon Bishop has found his way into the center of a massive criminal conspiracy, a plan set to climax with an act of audacious violence and a murder that would be impossible for any killer but one. And with his operative’s wife in danger, Weiss begins a race against time to outsmart the murderer who stalks his nightmares and to rescue the woman who haunts his dream.
If you like your tough guys really tough, your femme fatale and your action explosive-welcome to Dynamite Road.
What a shrewd manipulator Klavan is. The author of True Crime and Don’t Say a Word again pushes our buttons with unerring finesse. In San Francisco, there’s a detective agency, Weiss Investigations, run by Scott Weiss, an ex-cop whose “deep, baggy, sympathetic eyes” have seen it all. When Weiss finds out that Bernie Hirschorn, co-owner of an aviation company several miles north, is up to his propellers in skullduggery, he dispatches one of his operatives, Jim Bishop, to find out what’s up. (In one of Klavan’s acerbic, cut-to-the-chase observations, Hirschorn is introduced as a VBM-Very Bad Man-with “lots of money, drug connections. A lot of dead bodies on his way to the top.”) Adding to the highly charged scenario, Bishop gets involved in a steamy affair with the wife of Hirschorn’s chief pilot, another rogue in a lengthy cast of villains that would do Raymond Chandler proud. Meanwhile, back at the agency, Weiss continues to nurse a crush on a mysterious beauty named Julie Angel-or is she really Julie Wyant, and did she take a header off the Bay Bridge, as rumor has it? And just who is the nefarious Shadowman (who “was real whether he was real or not”), and will he find Julie before Weiss can? Klavan’s riveting blend of mystery, wiseass attitude and old-fashioned moralizing makes for a wild ride.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Klavan, who likes to try new things, wanders over into Jim Thompson territory in this tough-talking, sexy thriller. Even the title suggests a Thompson novel: explosive, violent. But this is no pale imitation of someone else’s work; it’s flashy, exciting, and altogether original. Jim Bishop is a private eye checking out a pilot at a local airport; a handsome man with an eye for the ladies, he considers it part of his job to seduce the pilot’s wife to get information. Meanwhile Bishop’s boss, Scott Weiss, has a case of his own: his archenemy, a hired gun who calls himself Shadowman, may be back in action. Can Weiss keep an eye on his operative at the airport and still focus on bringing down a killer? Filled with characters straight out of a 1950s potboiler, this rip-roarin’ story is tailor-made for hard-boiled fans with a soft spot for the pulp masters–Thompson, of course, but Cornell Woolrich and David Goodis, too.” – David Pitt
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“A fast-paced, entertaining thrill-ride of a book. Klavan does tough-guy heroes and sexual tension better than anyone writing today.” – Janet Evanovich on Dynamite Road
“Klavan winds his tale tighter and tighter until the reader is hopelessly spellbound. Superb suspense by a master storyteller.” – Clive Cussler on Dynamite Road
“A dynamite read about small-town corruption, drug running, and a genuinely terrifying serial killer.” — San Diego Union Tribune
“Klavan’s riveting blend of mystery, wiseass attitude, and old fashioned moralizing makes for a wild ride.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)