Monday, June 04, 2012

Pierce’s Picks: “Burning Midnight”

A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

Burning Midnight, by Loren D. Estleman (Forge):
Detroit-area author Estleman is one my “old reliables”--novelists who almost never disappoint. I started reading his fiction way back in 1980, when his first Amos Walker private-eye novel, Motor City Blue, saw print, and I’ve kept up with his work (more or less) ever since. He’s penned a number of novels exploring Detroit’s colorful history, as well as many Westerns, but I have been most diligent in reading the Walker yarns. Estleman’s man isn’t the trendiest investigator on the block--he’d be more comfortable partnering with Nate Heller than Nick Heller--but he’s certainly reliable. So he’s the guy Inspector John Alderdyce of the Detroit Police Homicide Division turns to when he needs help, even though the two men don’t always get along. It seems Alderdyce’s son’s 16-year-old brother-in-law, Ernesto Pasada, has joined one of the city’s Mexicantown gangs, the Maldados, and the inspector wants Walker to get him out. Fast. The traditionally rancorous relationship between the Maldados and a rival gang is turning ugly, and Ernesto risks becoming a gang-war casualty. But as Walker inserts himself into the midst of those brewing hostilities, he discovers that something much bigger and more dangerous than a turf battle is in the offing. Estleman’s humor and sarcasm, and his appreciation for beleaguered Detroit help make Burning Midnight an especially satisfying read.

An excerpt from Burning Midnight is available here.

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There are several other crime and mystery novels being released this week that also deserve attention: The Skeleton Box, by Bryan Gruley (Touchstone); An Unmarked Grave, by Charles Todd (Morrow); Midwinter Blood, by Mons Kallentoft (Emily Bester/Atria); and The Seven Wonders, by Steven Saylor (Minotaur).


Anonymous said...

Would you know why some of Estleman's recent Walker novels (The Left-handed Dollar - 2010 and Infernal Angels - 2011) have not been published in paperback?

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I don't know for sure, but I would guess that Mr. Estleman simply hasn't reached a reasonable deal with a paperback publisher yet. I'll keep an eye out for any more information about this.