Annal: 2000 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2000.

Book:Every Dead Thing

Every Dead Thing

John Connolly

Former NYPD detective Charlie “Bird” Parker is on the verge of madness. Tortured by the unsolved slayings of his wife and young daughter, he is a man consumed by guilt, regret, and the desire for revenge. When his former partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker finds himself drawn into a world beyond his imagining: a world where thirty-year-old killings remain shrouded in fear and lies, a world where the ghosts of the dead torment the living, a world haunted by the murderer responsible for the deaths in his family—a serial killer who uses the human body to create works of art and takes faces as his prize. But the search awakens buried instincts in Parker: instincts for survival, for compassion, for love, and, ultimately, for killing.

Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and a pair of bickering career criminals, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the humid bayous of Louisiana, a trap that threatens the lives of everyone in its reach.

Book:The Answer Man

The Answer Man

Roy Johansen

They call him the Answer Man. As a lie detector operator, he’s an expert in the science of truth…and the art of lies—and both are coming in handy. Because Ken Parker has been in a bad way. His business isn’t making enough money to support him and his sick brother. The repo men are after his MG. And an eviction notice has just been nailed to his office door.

Then Myth Daniels, the most beautiful woman he’s ever set eyes on, walks into his favorite bar. Little does he realize that everything is about to change. Five minutes after they meet, she takes him home, to a posh Atlanta neighborhood of fancy cars, manicured lawns, and security gates. And that’s when she offers him $50,000 in cash for one job.

Myth Daniels is a lawyer, and running into Ken at the bar was no accident. Her client Burton Sabini stands accused of embezzling $12 million from his company. Now she’s offering a deal to Ken Parker: Teach her client how to beat the polygraph, and…[more]

Book:East of A

East of A: An Urban Thriller

Russ Atwood

New York City’s hot-wired East Village: From Avenue A to Avenue D, Alphabet City is a magnet for all-night revelers, actors, musicians, and artists. But it’s also a lair for desperate hustlers, con men, and last-chance addicts.

Just part of the scene East of A.

Payton Sherwood knows that scene. He lives it daily. But Payton also lives by a creed derived from the white-knight heroes of Golden Age detective fiction. And like those renowned hardboiled private eyes, he is riddled with loss—the loss of an old love who still exists in daydreams, and the loss of a city he barely recognizes.

Payton returns to the Lower East Side after a short absence to find himself an outsider. When he takes a wrong turn on a side street, he stumbles into trouble in the form of three bull-necked heavies and a tough sixteen-year-old runaway named Gloria…[more]

Book:The Immortal Game

The Immortal Game

Mark Coggins

In the tradition of Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade comes August Riordan, a bass-playing PI full of cynicism and irreverence. Hired by multimillionaire entrepreneur Edwin Bishop, whose advanced software program is stolen, Riordan must navigate his way through the underbelly of the technological and jazz worlds. Decorated by atmospheric photographs that add a new dimension to the hard-boiled genre, this fast-paced book is a modern take on the classic mystery.

Book:Maximum Insecurity

Maximum Insecurity: A Matty Madrid Mystery

P.J. Grady

P.J. Grady’s Maximum Insecurity, featruing PI Matty Madrid, the first nortena—native of northern New Mexico—to appear in a mystery series. Her investigations take her from trendy galleries to the barrio, from the state capitol to mountain villages, Indian Pueblos, and New Age communes.

“At the Texas State Prison, you can put out a man’s life for a cupcake. At the Penetentiary of New Mexico it’ll cost you at least a carton of cigarettes.”

When an inmate dies an “accidental death,” Matty uncovers multiple murders and singular corruption at the pen. The stunning conclusion is set in the eerie world of prison lockdown. Matty’s goals are simple—an ice-cold Tecate and justice for all—and, as a one-time sherriff’s deputy fired for insubordination, she knows how to take care of herself, her family, and her friends. Matty’s family has been in northern New Mexico since 1698, and, in the owrds of the prison warden, she “didn’t fall off no turnip truck.”

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