“Robert B. Parker would stand and cheer, and George V. Higgins would join the ovation. This is a terrific book–tough, smart, spare, and authentic. Gabriel Valjan is a true talent–impressive and skilled–providing knock-out prose, a fine-tuned sense of place and sleekly wry style.”– Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of The Murder List
Shane Cleary, a PI in a city where the cops want him dead, is tough, honest and broke. When he’s asked to look into a case of blackmail, the money is too good for him to refuse, even though the client is a snake and his wife is the woman who stomped on Shane’s heart years before. When a fellow vet and Boston cop with a secret asks Shane to find a missing person, the paying gig and the favor for a friend lead Shane to an arsonist, mobsters, a shady sports agent, and Boston’s deadliest hitman, the Barbarian. With both criminals and cops out to get him, the pressure is on for Shane to put all the pieces together before time runs out.
This was the first book that I read by this author and thoroughly enjoyed his writing style.
Shane Cleary, P.I. and ex Boston Police Detective is down on his luck and needing some cash, gets a call from an old friend that he hasn’t seen in 10 years, Brayton Braddock, and in need of his help due to someone is blackmailing him. There is some bad blood there since Brayton also won the girl that Cleary loved at one time. But money is money.
The Boston Police would love to see Cleary go down since he went against the Brotherhood when he testified against another police officer. They are looking for him because he was on the scene when an FBI auditor was murdered.
The story takes place in the ’70’s and the writing style made me reminiscent of an early era with gumshoed investigators. The descriptive delivery, not only captivated me but allowed me to create vivid imagery.
Full of friendships, enemies, and the mafia of days past, the book was definitely character-driven with an atmospheric tale. The mystery kept the pages turning. I was pulled in and completely engrossed.
I will be checking out other books but Mr. Valjan!!!!
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Procedural, Historical Fiction
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: January 14th 2020
Number of Pages: 162
ISBN: 1087857325 (ISBN13: 9781087857329)
Series: A Shane Cleary Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. Dirty Old Town is the first in the Shane Cleary series for Level Best Books. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. He has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. You can find him on Twitter (@GValjan) and Instagram (gabrielvaljan). He lurks the hallways at crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. Gabriel is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime.
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GabrielValjan.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gabriel Valjan. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2020 and runs through May 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.