Results of the Shamus Award in the year 1993.
State politics, family feuds, and Native American mythology all figure in the murder of Louis Victor, prominent Alaskan businessman and big-game hunter. But only a hard-drinking private eye named Cecil Younger can solve the crime and lay old ghosts to rest in this atmospheric and engrossing novel set in the Alaskan frontier.
In steamy modern-day New Orleans, black private detective Lew Griffin has once again taken on a seemingly hopeless missing persons case. The trail takes him through the underbelly of the French Quarter with its bar girls, pimps, and tourist attractions. As his search leads to one violent dead end, and then another, Griffin is confronted with the prospect that his own life has come to resemble those he is attempting to find; he is becoming as lost as the frail identities he tries to recover. Waking in a hospital after an alcoholic binge, Griffin finds another chance in a nurse who comes to love him, but again he reverts to his old life in the mean streets among the predators and their prey. When his son vanishes, Griffin searches back through the tangles and tatters of his life, knowing that he must solve his personal mysteries before he can venture after the whereabouts of others.
The Long-Legged Fly is exciting, visceral entertainment that takes the reader into a corner of society where life is fought for as much as it is lived. James Sallis has written a compelling novel that succeeds both as detective fiction and worthy literature.
As Donald L. Westlake points out in his Introduction, Return Trip Ticket “honorably continues and extends” the timeless myth of the tarnished knight and the tarnished damsel, a myth that influenced much of the work of writers such as Dashiell Hammett.
Wilson, Hall’s private detective, is the tarnished knight—a tired realist on a hunt for a wandering daughter. The young woman has been living in Barcelona, idly “taking courses.” When she leaves her apartment and her casual communication with her family ceases, her wealthy father engages a detective agency to find her. Since Wilson is fairly fluent in Spanish, if not Catalan, the agency sends him to find Elizabeth Dantry.
The search takes him into some odd nooks and crannies of Barcelona, into the haunts of some questionable associates with…[more]