Annal: 1998 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 1998.

Book:Come Back Dead

Come Back Dead: A Scott Elliott Mystery

Terence Faherty

The year is 1955, and the media landscape is changing. The arrival of television has taken a major toll on Hollywood’s box office receipts, and times don’t look to be getting any easier for the studios. As a result, RKO has decided to put its entire library of films on the block, as a way to recoup some of its losses.

This gives one of the most controversial men in Hollywood, Carson Drury, the chance he’s waited for all his life—to buy back and remake his second movie and noted flop, The Imperial Albertsons. Drury rose to stardom and was proclaimed a genius based on the success of his debut film, First Citizen, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Unfortunately for Drury, his early artistic promise was never fully realized. The epitome of his failure—The Imperial Albertsons—was disliked by audiences and critics alike. According to Drury, this wasn’t his fault. He was betrayed by his friends, by his actors, and,…[more]

Book:Deception Pass

Deception Pass: A Thomas Black Mystery

Earl Emerson

“Mother Teresa with a bankroll” is P.I. Thomas Black’s first impression of Lainie Smith. Her rise from rags to riches and her bottomless generosity on behalf of Seattle’s children are something out of a Frank Capra movie. But that sentimental assessment is obliterated as Black investigates Lainie’s hidden past—and a purportively tranquil spot called Deception Pass.

As a rebellious teen, Lainie hooked up with a drifter named Charlie—and she may have been an eyewitness to murder in the shadow of cliff-walled Deception Pass, where the water runs river-swift and turbulent. When justice, and the executioner, finally caught up with Charlie, Lainie was long gone.

But somebody who knows the truth—the whole truth—about Lainie’s dark history is blackmailing her. Lainie won’t tell Thomas Black why she’s being blackmailed, only that her tormentor “knows things he couldn’t possibly know.” Just how far will Black’s saint-like client go to bury her past forever?

For a one-way passage to nonstop suspense, travel no farther than Deception Pass.

Book:Down for the Count

Down for the Count: A Delilah West Novel

Maxine O'Callaghan

Delilah West is in love, and to her that’s scarier than any gunman.

When a simple shopping trip to the mall turns into a bloodbath—leaving Delilah with a secret she can hardly bear to keep—she turns to Erik Lundstrom, her handsome millionaire boyfriend, for the comfort she needs. But both Erik’s prickly eighteen-year-old daughter, Nicki, and Delilah’s own fear keep her from getting as close to Erik as he would like. To add to her anxiety, Brian Hall, a troubled boy she saved that horrible day at the mall, shows up at her office hoping that Delilah can find his father.

The case seems simple enough, and Delilah needs something to take her mind off of Erik. Soon the search begins to look hopeless, and it becomes so important to Erik for the two women in his life to get along that Delilah and Nicki agree to tolerate each other for an afternoon—with terrifying consequences. Delilah West is generally a lucky woman, but that luck just might be running out.

Book:Indigo Slam

Indigo Slam: An Elvis Cole Novel

Robert Crais

When fifteen-year-old Teri Hewitt pleads with Elvis to find the father who abandoned her and her two younger siblings, his first reaction is to turn the case over to the California department of social services. But when he sees that Teri has the lives and care of her little family well in hand, he decides to take the job, asking Joe Pike to help him keep an eye on the kids. The missing dad, Clark Hewitt, is an unemployed printer whose personal history is hard to pin down; as Elvis investigates, the image of Hewitt that emerges indicates a chronically unemployed drug addict who slums through the criminal world, not a bona fide printer but a master counterfeiter.

The clues soon send Elvis to Hewitt’s home town, Seattle, where Elvis runs afoul of both the newly emerging Russian Mafia and U.S. Federal Marshals as he discovers more about the elusive deadbeat dad. In the meantime, Lucy Chenier comes to L.A. to…[more]

Book:No Colder Place

No Colder Place

S.J. Rozan

Bill Smith is going undercover again as a favor to an old friend who wants him to investigate thievery on the 40-story Manhattan site of Crowell Construction’s latest project. His bricklaying is a little rusty, but passable as he checks out the foreman who’s under suspicion. A crane operator has disappeared—along with some heavy machinery. But when a well-orchestrated riot causes the foreman’s “accidental” death, Smith plunges into a morass of bribery, blackmail and blood looking for answers. With the help of his Chinese-American partner Lydia Chin, he follows a trail of twisted loyalties, old-fashioned greed and organized crime to its heart-stopping conclusion. Murder—with no end in sight.

Book:Sacred

Sacred

Dennis Lehane

Dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to find his missing daughter. Grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father, Desiree Stone has been missing for three weeks. So has the first investigator Stone hired to find her: Jay Becker, Patrick’s mentor.

Patrick and Angie are led down a trail of half-truths and corruption into a world in which a therapeutic organization may be fronting for a dangerous and seductive cult, a high-tech private investigation firm may be covering up lethal crimes, and a stolen cache of millions in illegal funds may be tied to both disappearances and a tanker full of heroin. Nothing is what it seems as the detectives travel from the windblown streets of Boston to the rum-punch sunsets of Florida’s Gulf Coast. And the more Patrick and Angie discover, the more they realize that on this case any wrong step will certainly be their last… …[more]

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