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Corbett, David.

ISBN 10: 0345447530 / ISBN 13: 9780345447531
Published by New York: Ballantine, (2003.) dj
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Second noir novel by this highly praised writer, who combines compassion with a vivid description of the rough side of life - described as being even better than his first book 'The Devil's Redhead.' Set in a small city 'on the northern tip of the San Francisco Bay, beset by drug dealers, arsonists, squatters, and now murder.' SIGNED on the title page. 356 pp. Recommended. Very near fine in a like dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 27931

Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York: Ballantine, (2003.) dj

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


David Corbett’s first book, The Devil’s Redhead, was hailed by critics as a searing work of suspense. Now, one of the hottest new names in modern crime fiction is back with a riveting and soulful new noir.

Back in the day, Raymond “Strong” Carlisle made his mark as an ace sideman blowing baritone sax alongside all the biggest names in R&B. Now he lies in the grass outside his home, shot dead from behind and pelted by the heedless rain that mingles with his own blood. He is the first official casualty of a dirty war being lethally waged for control of Rio Mirada: a low-rent, “city in transition” of clashing subcultures at the northern tip of the San Francisco Bay, beset by drug dealers, arsonists, squatters . . . and now murder.

Detective Dennis Murchison–white, weary, home-grown–has two possible perps: Arlie Thigpen, a teenage lieutenant in the crack-and-smack army of a local dealer; Toby Marchand, a straight-arrow, old-school, jazz horn player with some big shoes to fill: those of his father, Strong Carlisle. The smart money says the shooter is Arlie, a two-time loser who tangled with Carlisle the day he died, is the shooter. But too many things about Toby–his shaky alibi, suspicion that he’s not really who he claims to be, the fact that his girlfriend witnessed the killing but can’t remember it–have Murch doing a double take.

They say there are three sides to the truth. But in Rio Mirada, honesty is in short supply. What’s plentiful are people with angles, hidden agendas, and all the reasons in the world to make sure the murder of Strong Carlisle remains a mystery. And the harder Murchison pushes for answers, the clearer it becomes that this single, brutal homicide is just the tip of an inverted iceberg, casting its massive shadow over a town where small-time crime and big-time corruption are about to collide . . . with explosive consequences.

A harrowing, heartbreaking portrait of life on both sides of the law–and the grey place in between–Done for a Dime pays off powerfully on the promise of David Corbett as a writer to watch.


Satisfaction is a commodity in short supply for the myriad characters populating Done for a Dime, private eye-turned-author David Corbett's affecting follow-up to his debut novel, The Devil's Redhead. Among the significantly short-changed is Raymond "Strong" Carlisle, an irascible black saxophonist who used to play with the giants of blues music, but now does only about four gigs a year, "if he’s lucky, with a bunch of sorry old men the business forgot long ago." When Carlisle is shot dead at his home in Rio Mirada, an increasingly crime-plagued burg north of San Francisco, the cops, including lead detective Dennis Murchison and his racist partner, Jerry Stluka, figure it's the tragic result of a nightclub fight he'd provoked the evening before. Their two prime suspects: Arlie Thigpen, a gang tough employed by a local drug dealer; and Toby Marchand, Carlisle's musician son, who'd chafed under his elder's incessant tauntings, and whose white teenage lover, Nadya Lazarenko, witnessed the homicide--but is too traumatized to remember anything about it. However, Carlisle's death is merely a harbinger of worse troubles to come, among them a neighborhood-destroying fire engineered by greedy developers.

Regrettably, that cinematic hillside conflagration diverts attention from Corbett's more interesting study of people trying to cope with the inequitable vicissitudes of life. Murchison, for instance, comes off as a conflicted mix of determination and desperation, a man terminally unable to fulfill the expectations of his wife and parents. For Marchand, the challenge is to reject his late father's cynicism and find hope in Nadya's embrace, even as she refuses to trust in something so ephemeral as happiness. Other well-formed players here--from a suspect's strong-willed mother, to a smart and fetching lawyer who confuses Murchison's heart, to a cop-turned-hired killer who isn't so transparently evil as he initially appears--struggle to achieve their own forms of justice in an unjust world. Corbett has a sharp ear for street dialogue and an even sharper understanding of human emotion and pain. For a book that's all about dissatisfaction, Done for a Dime is decidedly satisfying. --J. Kingston Pierce

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Store Description - the name used by Volk and Iiams, Booksellers- specializes in first editions of twentieth century literature, with an emphasis on women authors, African American, Native American and Latin American authors - plus mystery & detective fiction, science fiction & fantasy, poetry and children's & illustrated books. We try to offer many uncommon books, and have a large selection of first books, and books by authors who are less frequently collected. Of the approximately 50,000 volumes in stock, the majority are hardcover first editions, although we also stock vintage science fiction paperbacks as well as sf digests and pulps. We also have a large selection of books signed by the author and uncorrected proof copies. Less than 50% of our stock is catalogued, so please inquire if you are searching for specific titles. Selling books by mail order and on the internet since 1993. We have a large booth dedicated to books (called Books Upstairs) at the Antiques Upstairs Mall, 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA. (open every day from 10-5) The emphasis there is on Western Americana, children¿s books and inexpensive reading copies. In 1998 we relocated our main business from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills of Amador County, about 35 miles east of downtown Sacramento and between Ione & Sutter Creek. There, on 10 acres of rolling oak-covered hills, we built a ¿bookhouse¿ for our books. When we are there, we welcome visitors by appointment (call 209-274-6960 or, in the US only, toll free at 1-877-bookfev or contact us by email Our web page is Traditional bookseller grading used - fine is our highest grade (an "A"), very good is above average (a "B), good is average (a "C"). All significant flaws are described; dust jackets are protected by archival covers, and books are packed carefully for shipping. We welcome questions by email or phone.

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Terms of Sale: is a partnership between Christine Volk and Eugene Iiams, Booksellers. Our mailing address is PO Box 696, Ione CA 95640 USA. Our store is located at 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 USA. Email: Phone: 209-274-6960. We accept Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Discover, checks or Paypal, whichever is most convenient for customers. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to confirm availability. All dustjackets are in archival mylar covers, and books are packed ...

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