Annal: 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 2001.

Book:Silent Joe

Silent Joe

T. Jefferson Parker

With the horrible remnants of a childhood tragedy forever visible across his otherwise handsome face, Joe Trona is scarred in more ways than one. Rescued from an orphanage by Will Trona, a charismatic Orange County politician who sensed his dark potential, Joe is swept into the maelstrom of power and intimidation that surrounds his adoptive father’s illustrious career. Serving as Will’s right-hand man, Joe is trained to protect and defend his father’s territory—but he can’t save the powerful man from his enemies. Will Trona is murdered, and Joe will stop at nothing to find out who did it.

Looking for clues as he sifts through the remains of his father’s life—his girlfriends, acquaintances, deals, and enemies—Joe comes to realize how many secrets Will Trona possessed, and how many people he had the power to harm. But two leads keep rising to the surface: a little girl who was kidnapped by her mentally disturbed brother, and two rival gangs who seem to have…[more]

Book:Chasing the Devil's Tail

Chasing the Devil's Tail: A Mystery of Storyville, New Orleans

David Fulmer

Not New Orleans—but Storyville—noir…and all that jazz! 1907 Storyville. Cultures, races, and religions more often blend than clash in a rich gumbo only New Orleans could serve up. But trouble brews. In this red light district, prostitutes ply their trade whether in cramped cribs or elegant houses of French ancestry, while music surges through its streets and helps harmonize the light and dark elements. King Bolden rules the Storyville brass with his golden coronet and his gift—jasser—to blow a riff on the city’s music that pulses with new rhythms and notes. But the real King of Storyville is Tom Anderson, the district’s powerful property owner and political fixer, who employs Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr to dig into the deaths of a string of prostitutes. Each victim is found with a black rose. Is a serial killer leaving a calling card? Is King Bolden losing his mind as he stretches his genius to its limits? Why is an elderly priest sent away under care?

Book:Little America

Little America

Henry Bromell

A suspense novel, a political thriller, a novel of discovery—Little America opens in Boston today and tells the story of a man in search of the truth about his father’s past, a past locked away in the C.I.A.’s code of silence.

Terry Hooper’s father—Quaker-raised, Yale-educated, a sometime poet, now a retired (is he?) State Department veteran—was, in the 1950s, the C.I.A. station chief in Kurash, a small, newly constituted Middle Eastern country, a country caught in the grip of cold war politics, a country of beautiful and frightening Otherness (Arab women hidden behind their veils, scar-faced men on horseback with curved sabers, and streets that melted in the heat), 90 percent Muslim, lodged like a walnut between Syria and Iraq. Mack Hooper’s assignment: to win the confidence of the King of Kurash, an enigmatic, British-educated desert aristocrat to whom no one, not even the U.S. Ambassador, had been able to get close. …[more]

Book:Open Season

Open Season: A Joe Pickett Novel

C.J. Box

Few first mysteries have been welcomed as enthusiastically as Open Season, or with better cause.

“When a high-powered bullet hits living flesh, it makes a distinctive -pow-WHOP-sound that is unmistakable even at tremendous distance.” And so it begins for Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden who, with the shot of a rifle, is thrust into a race to save not only an endangered species, but also the life and family he loves.

C. J. Box knows the wilderness and he knows how to create a wonderfully authentic, vividly alive sense of place. Most of all, he knows how to create a memorable new hero: a man who is full of failings, but strong and honorable. This is mystery writing at its best-and the beginning of a brilliant new career.

Book:The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders

The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders

Marshall Browne

Inspector Anders of the Rome Police force became a national hero when he closed down an anarchist group ten years ago. But in the action he lost a leg—and his nerve.

Since then he has made his moral compromises with the corruption of the Italian state. Now he has been given one last job before early retirement: to close an inquiry into the murder of a respected judge in southern Italy. Once there he finds himself drawn into a shadowy world of corruption and power, and becomes increasingly involved with both the case and the judge’s widow.

Anders must maneuver through layers of corruption as he struggles to close the murder case. Then the judge’s widow offers him the chance to redeem his life with one last explosive act of courage. The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders is a remarkable debut sure to captivate and intrigue.

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