Joe Gores Cases

ISBN 13: 9780786218820

Cases

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9780786218820: Cases
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A recent graduate of Notre Dame, Pierce Duncan embarks on a cross-country odyssey across postwar America, a quest that leads to fateful encounters with a redneck chain-gang guard, a vicious killer, a corrupt LC cult leader, and a tough private eye

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Review:

Joe Gores, who has won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award three times in his long career, says about his latest book, "In Cases I have tried to mix fact and fiction so thoroughly that nobody--not even myself--can now untangle them." No wonder this wide-ranging saga of a young man's entry into the life of a San Francisco private detective has a fragmented, often familiar feel to it. Bits of real life and enhanced memory seem to have become mixed up with the many films noir that Pierce Duncan enjoys on his journey from Notre Dame to Baghdad by the Bay.

There's the Georgia chain-gang movie, where convicts murder a cruel guard; the Las Vegas crime-and-boxing movie, where an honest pug dies rather than throwing a fight; the Los Angeles religious cult movie, where a young man finds love among the loonies. And finally, there's the movie that Gores has been acting out, and writing down so well, for most of his professional life: the San Francisco private-eye film: part homage to Hammett, but mostly his own richly detailed vision of the world of skip-tracers, hired guns, sexy dames named April and Sherry, and corruptible gumshoes like the memorable Drinker Cope.

Cases may be a less-than-perfect novel, but it's definitely a valuable addition to our knowledge of Gores. It reads best as the source of local color for his greatest hits--from Hammett and Dead Skip to the more recent Menaced Assassin and Contract Null & Void. --Dick Adler

From the Publisher:

"In CASES I have tried to mix fact and fiction so thoroughly that nobody - not even myself - can now entangle them," writes three-time Edgar winner Gores in an author's note to this intermittently gripping, semiautobiographic saga of a young man's entry into the life of a San Francisco PI. The entanglement is part of the problem: on his journey from Notre Dame to Baghdad by the Bay, bits of real life and enhanced memory seem to have become mixed up with the many films noir that Pierce Duncan enjoys. There's the Georgia chain gang movie, in which convicts murder a cruel guard; the Las Vegas crime and boxing movie, in which an honest pug dies rather than throw a fight; the Los Angeles religious cult movie, in which a young man finds love in a cloud of cuckoos. And, finally, there's the movie that Gores (who has worker as a PI) has been acting out, and writing down so well, for most of his professional life; the San Francisco PI film - part homage to Hammett, but mostly his own richly detailed vision of the world of skip-tracers, hired guns, sexy dames named April and Sherry and corruptible gumshoes like the memorable Drinker Cope. Gores is a master of noir fiction, an exuberant practitioner of staccato prose deepened by occasional moral reflection. This novel, while rich in atmosphere pleasures and sharp character sketches, is less meaty with plot. It reads best as the source of local color for such Gores classics as DEAD SKIPS.

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Joe Gores
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Gores, Joe
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