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The Brandstetter books are classics of the private eye genre...it's great to see them available again -- Peter Robinson Incredible books, much overlooked -- Jeff Abbott, author of PANIC The most exciting and effective writer of the classic private-eye novel working today LA Times Hansen, one of the best practitioners of the California private-eye school...writes crisply with a lean, spare prose that echoes Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald Washington Post In Brandstetter, Hansen has developed a sympathetic character of depth and integrity Chicago Sun-Times No mystery writer is better at evoking the landscape, the light, the architecture and the ethnic diversity of Los Angeles Time Hansen is a strong unflinching writer and everything in his taut prose is real Boston Globe An exceptionally urbane literary style New York Times Book Review Hansen writes about Southern California with the descriptive love once given it by Raymond Chandler Herald Examiner An excellent craftsman, a compelling writer, he has a real gift for storytelling - for character, for scene, for pace independent of violence New Yorker
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From the Inside Flap
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Can you imagine the impact of a gay tough guy detective in 1972, that was thirteen years before Rock Hudson. Indeed, can you imagine a gay tough guy detective even today with all the attacks on Sponge Bob and and other stupidities.
But it's true. In 1972 Joseph Hansen published the first of what would grow to twenty five novels, twelve of which featured Dave Brandstetter the openly, contentedly gay thinking man's tough guy.
Dave is an insurance company investigator in charge of looking into false claims. In Fadeout, pop star Fox Olson's white convertible plunged off a narrow wooden bride and killed him. But where's the body.
That's enough of the story, you can guess what happens from there. It's a good story, well written as any novel that starts a series of twelve mysteries has to be. Highly Recommended.
In 1970 Joseph Hansen single-handedly changed the face (or at least the sexual orientation)of the mystery genre forever with FADEOUT and Dave Brandstetter, Hansen's openly and comfortably homosexual sleuth. Brandstetter was not the first gay detective, but he was the first healthy, "normal" gay detective. Brandstetter is handsome, urbane yet ruggedly masculine, and straight in all the essential ways. He is as real a person as a character in a novel can ever be. The same is true of all the series regulars. No one ever--with the exception of Cecil Harris' unconvincing marriage to Chrissie Streeter--steps out of character. Right down to the series somewhat melodramatic conclusion. Besides providing a positive homosexual role model, Hansen's Brandstetter series is remarkable for setting the standard against which 90% of all other gay mystery writers fail to measure up. The writing is superb. Hansen has been compared to Hammett, Ross MacDonald and Chandler. All genre writers following Hansen are compared to Hansen. With good reason. In the first of the twelve book series insurance investigator Brandstetter, still grieving over the death of his longtime lover, sets out to discover what happened to singer Fox Olson. Olson's wrecked car has been found minus Olson. Where's the body? Is the accident an accident? Did Fox committ suicide? Did someone murder him? Or is Fox alive and faking his death? And how does all this relate to the sudden reappearance of Olson's boyhood lover, a man Brandstetter feels queerly connected to--a man now also missing? Read this novel and you will have no further need of reader recommendations. You will hunt down each and every book in the entire series--as relentless as Dave Brandstetter himself.
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When Pima, California�s local celebrity/singer/radio show host Fox Olson turns up missing and his T-Bird is found in the arroyo after a fierce storm, his wife, daughter, friends, and fans expect his body to wash up any time. It doesn�t happen. Dave Brandstetter, claims investigator for Medallion Life Insurance Company comes to town. As he interviews family and friends, Dave discovers that all was not well in Fox Olson�s charmed life after all. Did Fox commit suicide? Or kill himself? And if he�s dead, where is the body? Dave thinks Fox disappeared on purpose, but in order to prove it, he�ll have to find the man. Detective Dave Brandstetter is not only an appealing, sympathetic character, he is also a rugged, hard-drinking, relentless investigator with his own secrets. He�s just lost his lover of 20+ years to cancer, and he is well aware that he is not in good shape emotionally. Against the backdrop of his loss, Dave talks to the people of Pima, noses into old issues, and gets a possible lead on Fox�s whereabouts. But there is more than one person in town with something to hide, and some of them may just be ready to kill to keep things quiet. Author Joseph Hansen writes clear and delightful prose: �the rust from the nailheads had written long, sad farewells down the salt-silver planks.� Alternating captivating description with classic hard-boiled narrative, the author brings Brandstetter�s world alive, both inside and out. No wonder Hansen has been compared to classic mystery writers such as Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald.Read more ›
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Joseph Hansen manages to fit a remarkable amount of storytelling in this relatively short novel. Fadeout is the story of an intriguing investigation. Yet it is so much more than that. Seemingly without effort, Hansen also succeeds in giving the reader a very revealing look into the inner life of the investigator.
Fox Olson of Pima, California has disappeared and is presumed dead. Mr. Olson is many things. Husband, father, local radio personality, writer, painter and erstwhile politician. He also owns a $150,000 insurance policy from a company known as Medallion Life. Dave Brandstetter is a claims investigator for Medallion Life and it is his job to find out what really has happened to Fox Olson. As Brandstetter interviews the policyholder's family and acquaintances he learns that things are not as they appear. The ostensibly happy life Fox Olson seemed to be enjoying was anything but that.
All is not well with Dave Brandstetter either. You see, Dave is a homosexual and his life partner of more than 20 years has recently died of cancer. Dave is just now trying to learn how to live again. In giving us the Dave Brandstetter character, Hansen has done a very remarkable thing, at least as far as detective fiction is concerned. Though proudly gay, there is nothing about Dave that would lead anyone meeting him in a professional setting to suspect he is anything other than heterosexual. His speech, his clothes, his mannerisms, everything about him speaks to a mainstream orientation. But since the reader is aware of Dave's homosexuality, the way in which Hansen has him relate to women, other gays and homophobic individuals he encounters in the course of his work is quite interesting indeed.Read more ›
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