Annal: 2005 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2005.

Book:While I Disappear

While I Disappear: A John Ray Horn Novel

Edward Wright

John Ray Horn is still working for his former sidekick, the Indian Joseph Mad Crow, recovering gambling debts and adding extra muscle when Joseph finds himself in a bad situation. One night they go to a small, seedy bar to intimidate a man who has been bothering Joseph’s niece, a waitress at his casino. As they leave, a woman clutching a highball glass says, “You don’t remember me, do you, John Ray?” By the time Horn places this faded beauty from his past, she’s disappeared. Tracking her down, he’s shocked to find his former costar Rose Galen in such diminished circumstances.

Young, beautiful, and improbably talented for her B-movie surroundings, Rose played the female lead in Horn’s second film as cowboy Sierra Lane. Now Rose is a shattered creature, drink-sodden and heavy with sadness. Something happened to her years ago, long before she met Horn, that has left her broken. Something she was once able to conceal. Hoping to uncover her long-kept…[more]

Book:After the Rain (Chuck Logan)

After the Rain

Chuck Logan

Headlights off, a panel truck drives by moonlight across an open field, following tracks that have been there for decades…

Nina Pryce and her husband, Phil Broker, couldn’t have more opposite views of the military. Broker’s loyalty to the men he served with in Vietnam is matched only by his certainty that they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Nina, though, is a new breed, a decorated and ambitious vet of the first Gulf War. As Nina proceeds along her chosen career path, Broker—until his recent “retirement,” Minnesota’s most effective, unorthodox, and controversial undercover cop—finds himself struggling in the role of patient military spouse.

The driver is a local entrepreneur taking advantage of a decades-old tradition of smuggling and bootlegging by crossing…[more]

Book:Choke Point

Choke Point: A Brinker Mystery

James C. Mitchell

On the streets of Tucson, Arizona, a riot breaks out after a basketball game and a man is shot dead in the street. He carries no identification, and the usual police checks—fingerprints and an artist’s sketch—provide nothing. Was this a case of police brutality, or did someone use the riot to conceal a murder? April Lennox, a young reporter from L.A., has a theory, and she turns to private detective Roscoe Brinker for help.

April received a call from Mexico a few days earlier—a call from a man promising a story of oppression and murder. They arranged to meet the night of the riot. He didn’t show, and April now suspects that her informant and the murder victim are one and the same.

She needs Brinker’s connections in Tucson and across the border, but after being shot and nearly killed in Mexico, he’s…[more]

Book:Fade to Clear

Fade to Clear: An Allen Choice Novel

Leonard Chang

In this new installment, Allen Choice, now a full partner at Baxter & Choice Investigations, finds his life in upheaval by the reappearance of his ex-lover Linda. Over the objections of his current girlfriend Serena, Allen reluctantly takes on the case of finding Linda’s niece, who was abducted by her father in a bitter divorce battle.

Fade to Clear is Leonard Chang’s most electrifying and riveting crime novel, following the critically-acclaimed successes of Underkill and Over the Shoulder.

As Allen delves deeper into the investigation, unearthing links to drug smuggling and money laundering, he becomes the target of larger, deadlier forces that strike a tragic blow. In the wake of personal loss, he compels himself forward in this perilous case and at the same time makes profound decisions that will reverberate throughout his life. …[more]

Book:The Wake-Up

The Wake-Up: A Novel

Robert Ferrigno

Frank Thorpe is set to board a plane at LAX for a much-needed vacation when he sees an obviously poor young boy knocked out of the way and senseless by an arrogant businessman rushing to a waiting Porsche.

Frank really needs some R & R. He’s just been fired—over a fatal screw up—from the covert operations “shop” he’s worked at for years. But Douglas Meachum—a hard-charging art dealer—needs to be made to feel something more than entitlement: nothing extreme, just a little wake-up call.

Given Frank’s background and his expertise in good guy/bad guy tactics, it’s easy for him to set up a scam involving some embarrassing revelations about a faked Mayan sculpture that Meachum sells to one of his clients. But the client isn’t someone who takes kindly to mistakes. She’s a ruthless social-climbing psychopath who, with her surfer-dude husband (the Thomas Alva…[more]

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