'As sweetly profane a poet as American noir could have asked for' Ian Rankin'A friggin' masterpiece' Dennis Lehane'The stunner that reinvigorated the genre and jacked up a generation of future crime novelists' George PelecanosMeet Private Detective C. W. Sughrue. Private detectives are supposed to find missing persons and solve crimes. But more often than not Sughrue is the one committing the crimes - everything from grand theft auto to criminal stupidity. All washed down with a hearty dose of whiskey and regret.At the end of a three-week hunt for a runaway bestselling author, Sughrue winds up in a ramshackle bar, with an alcoholic bulldog. The landlady's daughter vanished a decade ago and now she wants Sughrue to find her. His search will take him to the deepest, darkest depths of San Francisco's underbelly, a place as fascinating, frightening and flawed as he is. Welcome to James Crumley's America.
'Crumley writes like an angel on speed' Time Out Clark Air Force Base, the Philippines. 1962. Sergeant Jacob 'Slag' Krummel, wannabe scholar now warrior, is posted to the base to take command of the 721st Communication Security Detachment, perhaps the least committed band of drunken, rebellious and bored soldiers in the US Air Force. With the Vietnam War looming large in their minds, they cannot escape war, fear and the truth about America, overturning the lies they've been told about their homeland. First published in 1969, this is the debut that launched the career of one of the greatest writers of his generation. Crumley's timeless classic is a stunning exploration of the effects of war, told with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue, dark humour, relentless pace and remarkable set pieces.
'A fantastic road trip...wild, wicked, sweet, painful, courageous, outrageous, and obscene' New York TimesNever the most conventional of private detectives, C. W. Sughrue is called in to solve a far from traditional missing persons case. A beautiful woman has vanished, and Sughrue is set to be the next in a long line of people who have tried to find her: the FBI, her well-connected Republican husband, and - most worryingly - a group of South American drug dealers. And his only clue is a hollowed-out sculpture of a duck.From Montana to the Mexican border, Sughrue embarks on a wild ride, as he finds himself in and out of trouble - and the beds of one or two women. And, as he runs from his memories of Vietnam, he ponders the meaning of loyalty and revenge. This is a journey like no other from the pen of James Crumley, the master of a generation of crime writers.
'This complex thriller is so hardboiled it makes Ellroy and Connelly read like Simon and Garfunkel... it's good. Very good' Time OutSettling - and calming - down is never easy. Especially not for Milo Milodragovitch. He's set up a bar, and found a woman he thinks he may love, but he can't leave his work as a private investigator behind entirely. When he crosses paths with ex-con Enos Walker, and as the bullets fly, he's launched on to a cocaine- and alcohol-fuelled quest to solve a 20-year-old mystery. It's a journey that will take him racing across Texas, Montana and Mexico, with barely a moment for him - or you - to catch breath...'A brilliant achievement, with Crumley returned to his full powers, seeming to say with each assured sentence, 'Yeah, I'm an old dog, but I still wag the baddest bone'' Publishers Weekly
A classic from a legend of American crime writing. 'Crumley writes like an angel on speed' Time Out.Milo Milodragovitch isn't exactly an upstanding citizen. He's more than likely to be drunk, and leaves heartbreak in his wake; five ex-wives to be precise. In fact, 'his forte is self-destruction' (Elmore Leonard). When an elderly lady offers him a handsome fee to satisfy her curiosity he thinks it's an easy job, a quick win. Every Thursday she watches a couple arrive at the same spot at the woods opposite her house, in separate cars. But finding out who they are and what they're doing is far from straightforward and before he knows it Milo is in a world of trouble, complete with machine guns, grenades, and a bag of coke. Never a dull day...
'Crumley in scintillating form: an anarchic, savagely violent and brilliantly written lament for a vanishing past' Evening StandardJames Crumley is the king of hard-boiled noir, credited with inspiring the next generation of crime writers - including Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly - and best known for his two private detectives, Milo Milodragovitch and C. W. Sughrue. He brought them together for one wild, pulse-pounding ride. This is that story.Someone shot Sughrue and left him for dead, and someone stole Milo's $3million inheritance. And they're not the kind of men to let it go. They've joined forces in El Paso and they're set for a wild ride across America. They're out for revenge...'No one in American crime fiction writes sharper, more authentic dialogue, nor more exciting action, nor, beneath the tough façade, has a greater feel for the values and mores that really matter' The Times
Milo Milodragovitch is a once-successful divorce lawyer, who now prefers to spend his days drinking and staring out the window. That all changes when Helen Duffy walks into his office and asks him to find her missing brother.Though it's not his usual line of work, Milo agrees to help - he needs the money, and he wants to spend more time with this beautiful woman. But this is far from a routine case, and whispers of a long-past crime haunt Milo's every move . . .'As sweetly profane a poet as American noir could have asked for' Ian Rankin'Like James Ellroy, he is a master of American vernacular, turning tough-guy slang into something like poetry' Independent
'The poet laureate of hard-boiled literature, superior even to James Lee Burke in his ability to evoke extreme melancholy, gruesome violence and an acute sense of landscape... Deeply compelling' Guardian Things are never straightforward for private detective C. W. Sughrue. A long-time recovering Vietnam veteran and prone to trouble, he's finally enjoying a slower pace of life. Until, that is, his old friend - psychiatrist William Mackinderick - enlists his help in shadowing some of his patients. Mackinderick suspects one of them may have taken highly confidential files from his office and he's desperate to know who. But soon Sughrue's not tracking them alive but dead, as one after the other they meet a gruesome end. Sughrue thought he'd seen it all before but he's been proved wrong...madness knows no bounds.