Portland Laugher (Thomas Black Mysteries)

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( 265 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780345397829: Portland Laugher (Thomas Black Mysteries)

"Emerson is carving his own special niche among a new generation of private-eye writers....He writes lean, muscular prose to carry his fast-moving action."
--The Washington Post Book World
A curious couple offers Seattle private eye Thomas Black a strange proposal: play guardian angel to an unlikely stalking victim named Billy Battle, a brooding ex-con with a psychotic history of unproven murder and mayhem. Hot on Billy's trail is the man who helped send him up the river, and who just may want Billy dead for his own peace of mind.
It's a case that puts Black in the hospital partially paralyzed, plagued with memory loss and a monstrous sense of doom. And when menacing phone calls from a maniacally laughing stranger begin to haunt Black, he can't help but wonder if the last, wicked laugh will be on him. (
"EMERSON'S BIGGEST, DARKEST NOVEL YET, a clangorous three-alarmer that'll leave you wound tighter than Billy Battle...Hair-raising."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet. This guy is good, and THE PORTLAND LAUGHER is the best book yet in the Thomas Black series!"
--Robert Crais

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From the Publisher:


As the daughter of a fireman, I found it intriguing that one of our mystery writers, Earl Emerson, is a full-time professional firefighter. Upon further investiagtion, it turns out he's so intriguing that we used his photo in ads running in GQ and Details. But I needed to know if his writing is was intriguing as the man. So I picked up a copy of Emerson's THE PORTLAND LAUGHER. I immediately became engrossed in this Thomas Black mystery. Emerson is now one of my favorite mystery writers of all time!

Stacey Witcraft, Advertising

From Kirkus Reviews:

As Seattle shamus Thomas Black (Yellow Dog Party, 1991, etc.) lies in a coma waiting for his body and memory to start working again, he flashes back to the bizarre case that left him so broken: getting hired, on the recommendation of Thomas's sleazy fellow- professional Snake Slezak, by much-married Roxanne Lake and her young houseguest Jerome Johnson to tail Philip Bacon, who's been following newly freed ex-con Billy Battle, Jerome's foster brother- -who's already being tailed by Snake. Billy's long history of violence (dead cats, arson, kidnapping, assault, possible homicide) makes it practically certain that he'll lash out again (at Jerome? at Walter Clark, the elderly neighbor who testified against Billy when he went after Jerome with a knife? at Philip, whose testimony helped put Billy away?). True to form, more violence erupts--but this time, it sends Thomas back seven years to the murder of Roxanne's wealthy fourth husband weeks after they pledged their troth forever. Are the two teen runaways doing life for the killing really innocent? How many of the truckload of crimes he's being tabbed for did Billy actually commit? And what will Thomas's long- term girlfriend think of the way he's hassling her new fianc‚ Philip? Not even a hair-raising climax in a mountain cabin, with the few remaining suspects dodging each others' bullets and accusations, will provide all the answers to this impossibly dense case. Emerson's biggest, darkest novel yet, a clangorous three- alarmer that'll leave you wound tighter than Billy Battle. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Emerson, Earl
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