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Fear of the Dark (The Aaron Gunner Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Gar Anthony Haywood
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

A failed private eye searches Los Angeles for a murderous white supremacist
Aaron Gunner made a lousy private detective. After a year’s carnage in Vietnam and a quick exit from the police academy, private work was the only avenue he saw to be a hero. But the seediness, tedium, and lack of real power crushed his hopes, and he quit the job after inadvertently setting a pregnant woman up for a violent death. But after a savage racial murder, it may be time to come out of retirement.
The white man comes to the Acey Deuce, a bar in South Central Los Angeles, to blow the head off a young black militant. The dead radical’s sister pays Gunner a visit with a .22 revolver, and convinces him to find her brother’s killer. As Gunner draws closer to answers, prejudice and rage threaten to tear Los Angeles apart. To save the city—and himself—Aaron Gunner must finally find his calling.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the 1988 Best First P.I. Novel Contest, this promising debut introduces black private investigator Aaron Gunner, hired to find the white man who walked into the Acey Deuce bar in South Central Los Angeles to blow away the owner, J. T. Tennell and Buddy Dorris of the Brothers of Volition, a black activist group. Buddy's sister, Verna Gail, feels the murder isn't getting enough police attention and hires Gunner, a P.I. who's trying to quit the business. He discovers that the killer is Denny Townsend, a white supremacist working on the fringes of a campaign to elect Lew Henshaw, a politician running on a law-and-order platform. Before Gunner can talk to Townsend, he finds himshot to death in Gunner's car. The cops are suspicious of Gunner, who soon is framed for the killing of Townsend's friend and possible accomplice, Stanley Ferris. To save his own neck, and to keep L.A. from erupting into racial violence, Gunner must find the connection between the politician, a local drug dealer and the Brother's charismatic leader, Roland Mayes. Haywood has a good ear for the sour voice of the true private eye and the sense of tired hopelessness of the underclass they have always served. One hopes to see more of Gunner.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Haywood has a good ear for the sour voice of the true private eye and the sense of tired hopelessness of the underclass they have always served. One hopes to see more of Gunner.” —Publishers Weekly
“Haywood writes about people who have enough sensitivity to be hurt, and enough complexity to do wrong and have to live with the consequences.” —Los Angeles

Product Details

  • File Size: 527 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Road (April 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007O3SHNI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,825 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Scenic Tour of LA February 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The members of "Turning Pages Book Club', unanimously agree that Mr.Gar Anthony Harwood,is a very descriptive, straight to the chase,writer whom we all enjoyed reading and look forward to reading again,very soon!
The storyline for "Fear of the Dark", starts out with people having fun, watching Monday Night Football at the Acey Deucy,located in South Central,Los Angeles;then, all of a sudden the descriptive style of the author kicks in with..."The white boy with the funny left eye"; and then, this is where the adventure begins with a suspense filled scenic ride throughout South Central,Los Angeles; with many of the places,actually jumping off of the page and making you feel as if you were really, standing in the middle of the side walk on "Figueroa and 41st,Place" or looking down at the "La Brea Tar Pits",instead of just reading about it in the book!
The author's writing style was straight forward with an easy flowing style, which made the reader feel at ease, so you that you could easily relate to the many colorful characters: Mean Sheila,Too Sweet, Mouse,Buddy Dorris;along with your uncouth private detective (Aaron Gunnar), your young militants (The Brother's of Violation) Brother Jamal,your racist white boy(Denny Townsend), grieving/scheming sister (Verna),the politician(Lew Henshaw)Larry Stewart,Terry Allison (and a host of other players that take the reader, very quickly weaving down various twist and turns through the tinsle town we know as Los Angeles.
Mr.Harwood, has spun together a fantastic story which includes murder, greed, jealousy, blackmail, and even people who have a great sense of integrity, which will keep the reader, absolutely riveted to your seat until the very,very last line!
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More About the Author

GAR ANTHONY HAYWOOD is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels and numerous short stories. He has written six mysteries featuring African-American private investigator Aaron Gunner; two starring Joe and Dottie Loudermilk, retiree crime-solvers and Airstream-owning parents to five grown Children From Hell; and four standalone thrillers.

Haywood's first of six mysteries featuring African-American private investigator Aaron Gunner, FEAR OF THE DARK, won the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus award for Best First Novel of 1989, and his first Gunner short story, "And Pray Nobody Sees You", won both the PWA's Shamus and World Mystery Convention's Anthony awards for Best Short Story of 1995. His short story, THE FIRST RULE IS, was featured in the 2010 edition of Best American Mystery Short Stories, and THE LAMB WAS SURE TO GO, his most recently published Gunner short story, garnered him his third Shamus award in 2011.

Haywood has written for both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and for such television shows as NEW YORK UNDERCOVER and THE DISTRICT. His two most recent novels are the urban crime drama CEMETERY ROAD, which Publisher's Weekly called "a beautifully crafted novel of unintended consequences" in a starred review, and ASSUME NOTHING, which was published by Severn House in December, 2011.

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