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City of the Absent (Inspector Alastair Ransom Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Alastair Ransom Series

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About the Author

Robert W. Walker, a graduate of Northwestern University, is the author of thirty-six novels, including the acclaimed PSI Blue featuring FBI Psychic Rae Hiyakawa, the Instinct Series with FBI Medical Examiner Dr. Jessica Coran, and the Edge Series featuring Texas Cherokee Detective Lucas Stonecoat and psychiatrist Meredyth Sanger. He has also recently published the serialized thriller set in India entitled Fleshwar on Amazon.com\shorts. Robert was born in Corinth, Mississippi; grew up in Chicago, Illinois; and currently resides in Chicago and Charleston, West Virginia. In between teaching, lecturing, and book touring, Rob is busy tackling his next two novels, City of the Absent and Deja Blue.


Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Alastair Ransom Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060740124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060740122
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,453,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MOST recent work available on Kindle and audiobooks via Audible.com. 57 titles in ebooks and 33 currently on Audible.com with 15 more in production, such as Killer Instinct and Titanic 2012, as well as many others. Latest Kindle book titles - The Canoneers - Ben Cross & The Guns of Ticonderoga, The Edge of Instinct finalized, and The RED PATH - historical romance in Civil War era very soon available. Work in Progress The Fear Collectors and another historical YA - Animiki - Brave of the Fire Nation.

New WORK this year has been The Canoneers, The Edge of Instinct, and The Red Path - a record year for output as I have published here on Kindle in Feb. two titles: the 12th in my award-winning, highly acclaimed INSTINCT SERIES - The EDGE of INSTINCT (also bk.#5 in EDGE Series/combined ensemble casts, you see). In addition, to introduce new readers to my EIGHT separate series characters, I published a book of EIGHT short stories under title of THRILLER PARTY of 8 - The One That Got Away.

Since two books put up in calendar year 2013 did not seem enough, I have now added in June a twisting, turning, churning, burning historical in the tradition of my Children of Salem meets Gone With The Wind entitled ANNIE'S WAR books #1 and #2 subtitled Love Amid the Ruins. Book #3 in this layered, complex pre-Civil War tale of the first home-grown terrorist attack on a US Armory in history, set in 1859 is through the eyes of the infamous John Brown? NO...through the eyes of his sexually active 17-year-old daughter.

While it chronicles what happened at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the dramatic novel is one foremost of love and romance at the forefront, and it devolves into a fierce gun battle. It reads like a western for good reason. If a fan of the recent Kevin Costner film on the Hatfields and the McCoys, this fits right in that ballpark...and in fact, I modeled my John Brown on Kostner's role as Devil Anse. The two men would have had a lot in common. Anse and Brown that is...not Costner.

Book THREE of ANNIE's WAR will be published before end of June, so the entire trilogy, each at 2.99 will be available as will a hefty offering of the ENTIRE thee books in ONE kindle order for 5.99 - a real bargain. Counting Annie's Trilogy then in Calendar Year 2013 --so far-- I have completed and Kindled FIVE book-length works, Four being novels, One being Shorts, plus have shown up in three anthologies this year...and the year is only half over. There could be more! Meanwhile, my older titles are discussed below:

My previous several novels have been Original to Kindle, exclusvie works. Most recent has been TITANIC 2012 - Curse of RMS Tttanic, a cross-genre, generational suspense thriller with an occult horror twist. It's a new theory, a theory that proves the innocence of the iceberg, ha! Puts the burden of error squarely back onto Captain Edward Smith's shoulders, but it is also science fiction as it alternates chapters between 1912 and 2012. In future, divers go inside Titanic the Wreck to plunder her interiors. But what they find is murder and mayhem and monstrous stuff! See all ten reviews on Amazon.com

Just prior to launching T2012, I placed up CHILDREN of SALEM, romance and intrigue and ecumenical spies amid the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Talk about a "Bad Time to Be in Love" - but Jere Wakely does love the daughter of an excommunicated witch, Serena Nurse, and he vows to put an end to the insanity of the trials. Painstakingly reseached for some thirty odd years, Children of Salem is both my life's work and now my highest grossing ebook to date, selling 255 copies a month and garnering great reviews (as is T-2012). Children of Salem is a big ambitious work that all my previous books have led me to return to over decades to rewrite and rewrite again and again until I got it right.

AFTERSCHOCK is among all my backlisted titles sold years ago to NYC publishers. Aftershock is the ebook bread-winner, the one which as sold the most copies and for a long time had been my leading title in sales. I placed up some 40 "odd" previously published titles ranging from horror and supernatural, occult horror and suspense-thriller to mysteries and historical themes, and now i have 46 Kindle titles available. Would be fifty if not for tie-ups on other titles.

One more recent modern day noir PI novels is DEAD ON from Five Star Books July '09 which has garnered rave reviews and wonderful remarks from Tess Gerritsen, Ken Bruen, JA Konrath, David Ellis, Raymond Benson, and Jay Boninsinga as well as Booklist! Prior to this my City trilogy, City for Ransom, Shadows in the White City, and City of the Absent published via HarperCollins and heralded as great books by The Chicago Tribune, winning the coveted Lovey Award, set the stage for my finally being able to get Children of Salem RIGHT.

A bit about myself: I grew up in Chicago as my father came out of WWII knowing one skill -- how to drive a truck. As a truck driver, he supported five children. I was born in Corinth, MS., siblings born in Tuskegee, AL., where my mother hailed from.

I struggled in school in inner-city Chicago, but early on found I had a gift for 'talking my way out of fights' and this translated into 'telling stories' to influence others, and soon wondered if I could not do it for money. I began writing at a young age to 'communicate' ideas and always at the root of my tales are ideas, notions, concepts, issues, fears, phobias,the dark side of human nature, twisted religion, the human condition, and themes I find fascinating like the injustice we see every day, and vengeance, and greed, and skulduggery all around.

In fact, much of my fiction centers on twisted this or twisted that...from twisted fantasies in the minds of killers to twisted religion in the minds of...yeah... killers and others. I have read widely in all areas of human endeavor and use all areas imaginable in the creation of my characters and stories, and my work is character-driven whether it is a suspense novel or an historical novel.

I recieved a full scholarship to Northwestern University out of Wells High School, inner city, which was some kind of feat, and it was based on my writing ability. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, went on to accomplish a Masters in English Education. I've taught for over thirty-years to 'support' my habit -- writing. I have always taught full-time while writing full-time, and I 'make' time.

While I grew up in Chicago, and many of my books center there and in the Midwest, I am currently living in Charleston, WV where I am still teaching and writing. I live with four step-children and my ER RN wife, Miranda, whose first novel, a serial killer chase down romp called Absolution, is also available on Kindle. I completed my 50th novel for publication with Titanic 2012.

Wish to thank all my readers for the many, many years of support since writing the spoof on disaster films and books, SUB-ZERO in 1979, and those who supported my Instinct and Edge Series as well as my various horror and other suspense series. I have created no less than eight series characters, all of whom I intend to keep "alive" via Kindle original titles in future. I am currently working on a 4th Geoffrey Caine (pen name) Abe Stroud, archaeology horror title called Bayou Wulf. For a free download of the first chapters, you can contact me on Facebook at Robert W. Walker (Rob) or my website - www.robertwalkerbooks.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
City of the Absent begins with a murder and ends with the main character being arrested for another murder, one which he wanted to commit but didn't. The first murder is that of the mayor of Chicago and occurs on the last night of the Columbian Exposition in 1893. When a female Pinkerton operative is killed shortly afterward, police Inspector Alastair Ransom swears to find her killer. Soon, however, Ransome finds himself being pulled into an intrigue which can result in nothing short of his own death and nothing good for his associates. Haunted by past deaths for which he feels morally--if not actually responsible--and because he's bent, if not actually fractured the law in previous cases in order to dispense justice, Ransom has to watch his step as his own police chief, as well as certain other influential citizens and the head of the Pinkerton Agency seem bound and determine to bring him down. At last, it appears they have succeeded when he's arrested for a murder and his attorney is soon after poisoned and hospitalized. This is a dark but entertaining tale which, except for the mention of Mr. Edison's electrical inventions and the "new-fangled telephones" Hansom cabs. etc., could be contemporary in its storyline. Public officials are corrupt and doing everything to maintain their power, including ridding themselves of anyone who is an obstacle; undercover private police are killed in the line of duty; priests are accused of improper behavior with their acolytes; derelicts are being killed and their organs removed for sale--not for transplantation, however, but for study. My only argument with the story is that it ends on a cliff-hanger. Since this is the third in a series, I hope the next one has already been published for I'd certainly like to find it and discover if Ransom escapes the noose waiting so patiently for him and brings his accusers to justice. He's such a vibrant and determined character, I'd hate for this to be his ignominious end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot recommend a book whose ending leaves you hanging.I should have known this might occur, due to the many,many references to previous cases.If this is a ploy to sell more books,Mr. Walker just lost this reader.Too bad, since I agree that it was a good read-until the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Years ago a TV station ran western movies on a show hosted by "Cactus Pete." To make sure the audience stayed tuned during commercials, Pete (or the producer) would stop the movie just as Gene Autrey was falling off a cliff, and then return to continue the movie, where Gene landed in a wagon load of featherbeds. This novel uses the same crass and idiotic gimmick to try and force the reader to buy the next book in the series (if there is one) by leaving "Inspector" Ransom incarcerated and awaiting the noose on a bogus murder charge. The author and publisher did the same crass trick with the first of the three book series, of having a cliffhanger ending. Please adapt to modern conventions of publishing and end each book in the same book, rather than crudely attempting to force readers to buy the next book, as if this were a silent movie serial. Seems quite archaic.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
On October 28, 1893, the World's Fair in Chicago came to an end, two days later than its scheduled closing, to allow former President Benjamin Harrison to visit. That Fair was the setting for a prior novel in the series featuring Inspector Alistair Ransom of the Chicago Police Department, Shadows in the White City. Both novels reflect the author's love of the Windy City and its history.

As the Fair was being closed down, the Mayor was assassinated on his front lawn by an office seeker. Never a dull moment in the nation's second city. In addition, there occur a series of "disappearances" of persons who "wouldn't be missed." These didn't rate much attention until a disguised female Pinkerton agent was found murdered and disemboweled. She was a friend of Ransom's, and he leads the charge to solve the grisly murder.

Ransom is a larger-than-life protagonist, allowing the author to make all kinds of observations about the city, its politics, graft and other characteristics. His methods are unorthodox, and in this episode he finds himself accused of one act of which he is not guilty. The book is written in the same tone as the era it depicts and is a page turner.

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