Honor roll: Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for a Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel

Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil. Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend the clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It’s no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. From bikers to con artists to drunk drivers and drug dealers, they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. But when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. It’s a franchise case and he’s sure it will be a slam dunk in the courtroom. For once, he may be defending a client who is actually innocent. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face-to-face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, Haller must use all of his skills to manipulate a system in which he no longer believes.

Book:Winter and Night

Winter and Night

S.J. Rozan

Private detective Bill Smith is hurtled headlong into the most provocative-and personal-case of his career when he receives a chilling late night telephone call from the NYPD, who are holding his fifteen-year-old nephew Gary. But before he can find out what’s going on, Gary escapes Bill’s custody and disappears into the dark and unfamiliar streets…

Bill and his partner, Lydia Chin, try to find the missing teen and uncover what it is that has led him so far from home. Their search takes them to Gary’s family in a small town in New Jersey, where they discover that one of Gary’s classmates was murdered. Bill and Lydia delve into the crime-only to find it eerily similar to a decades-old murder-suicide…

Now, with his nephew’s future-and perhaps his very life-at stake, Bill must unravel a long-buried crime and confront the darkness of his own past…

Book:L.A. Requiem

L.A. Requiem

Robert Crais

The day starts like any other in L.A. The sun burns hot as the Santa Ana winds blow ash from mountain fires to coat the glittering city. But for private investigator Joe Pike, the city will never be the same again. His ex-lover, Karen Garcia, is dead, brutally murdered with a gun shot to the head.

Now Karen’s father calls on Pike and his partner, Elvis Cole, to keep an eye on the LAPD as they search for his daughter’s killer—because in the City of Angels, everyone has something to hide. But what starts as routine turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. For a dark web of conspiracy threatens to destroy Pike and Cole’s twelve-year friendship—if not their lives.

Book:Soul Patch

Soul Patch: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman

In this darkly intriguing follow-up to the Shamus and Barry winning The James Deans, ex-NYPD cop turned P.I. and entrepreneur, Moe Prager is faced with a gut-wrenching case. The apparent suicide of his old friend and NYPD Chief of Detectives, Larry McDonald, forces Moe back onto the decaying Coney Island streets he patrolled when he was in uniform. But now, beneath the boardwalk and behind the rusted and crumbling rides of the midway, he finds a trail of death, betrayal, and corruption reaching back to 1972. As Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” So it goes for Moe Prager in Soul Patch.

Book:The Guards

The Guards

Ken Bruen

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda SÌoch·na—the Guards, Ireland’s police force—and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland’s best private investigator, not to mention its first—Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life’s sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack’s talent for finding things. Odds are he won’t be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he’s getting into. …[more]

Book:Hell to Pay

Hell to Pay: A Novel

George P. Pelecanos

Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, the team of investigators who made their bestselling debut in Right As Rain, are hired to find a fourteen-year-old girl who’s run away from her home in the suburbs. It’s easy for Strange and Quinn to learn that the girl is now working as a prostitute in one of D.C.’s most brutal neighborhoods. Getting her to leave is harder. The two ex-cops think they know this world-but nothing in their experience has prepared them for the vengeance of Worldwide Wilson, the ruthless operator whose territory they are intruding upon.

Their mission is fractured by a violent criminal act against a young player from the neighborhood football team that Strange coaches. Tracking down the perpetrators becomes a point of honor for Strange and Quinn, and their investigation leads them deep inside the city’s labyrinth of crime-and back, again, to the lethal Worldwide Wilson.

Book:If the Dead Rise Not

If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Mystery

Philip Kerr

Berlin 1934. The Nazis have been in power for just eighteen months but already Germany has seen some unpleasant changes. As the city prepares to host the 1936 Olympics, Jews are being expelled from all German sporting organisations—a blatant example of discrimination.

Forced to resign as a homicide detective with Berlin’s Criminal Police, Bernie is now house detective at the famous Adlon Hotel. The discovery of two bodies—one a businessman and the other a Jewish boxer—involves Bernie in the lives of two hotel guests. One is a beautiful left-wing journalist intent on persuading America to boycott the Berlin Olympiad; the other is a German-Jewish gangster who plans to use the Olympics to enrich himself and the Chicago mob. As events unfold, Bernie uncovers a vast labour and construction racket designed to take advantage of the huge sums the Nazis are prepared to spend to showcase the new Germany to the world. It is a plot that finds its conclusion twenty years later in pre-revolution Cuba, the country to which Bernie flees from Argentina at the end of A Quiet Flame.

Book:The Other Woman

The Other Woman

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.

Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston.  

As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal.

Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election.

Book:Reflecting the Sky

Reflecting the Sky

S.J. Rozan

S. J. Rozan is widely regarded as one of the finest crime writers to emerge in the past decade. Praised by critics and colleagues alike, her works have been finalists for most of the major awards and have won both the Shamus and the Anthony Awards for Best Novel. Now, with Reflecting the Sky, she has written her finest, most broad-ranging novel to date.

Lydia Chin, a Chinese-American private investigator in her late twenties, is hired by Grandfather Gao, one of the most respected figures in New York City’s Chinatown, for what appears to be a simple task. Lydia, along with her professional partner Bill Smith, is to fly to Hong Kong to deliver a family heirloom to the young grandson of a recently deceased colleague of Grandfather Gao. They arrive in Hong Kong safely but before they can deliver the heirloom, the grandson is kidnapped and two, separate ransom demands are made. While the family of the kidnapped boy tries to freeze them out, Lydia and Bill must quickly learn their way around a place where the rules are different, the stakes are high, and the cost of failure is too dire to imagine.

Book:Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone: A Novel

Dennis Lehane

Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired to find four-year-old Amanda McCready, abducted from her bed on a warm, summer night. They meet her stoned-out, strangely apathetic mother, her loving aunt and uncle, the mother’s dangerous, drug-addled friends, and two cops who’ve found so many abused or dead children they may be too far over the edge to come back.

Despite enormous public attention, rabid news coverage, and dogged police work, the investigation repeatedly hits a brick wall. Led into a world of drug dealers, child molesters, and merciless executioners, Patrick and Angie are soon forced to face not only the horrors adults can perpetrate on innocents but also their own conflicted feelings about what is best, and worst, when it comes to raising children. And as the Indian summer fades and the autumn chill deepens, Amanda McCready stays gone, banished…[more]

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