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Haftmann's Rules: A Serial Killer Noir Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 242 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 918 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Mal Press (September 12, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 12, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MR3FFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Robb White was born and raised in Northern Ohio. A lifelong reader of crime fiction, his first Thomas Haftmann story was accepted by "Hardboiled" magazine in the early nineties but wasn't published until many years later. The first Haftmann story for web publication was "The Riding Boy" in "Thrilling Detectives." Since then, he has published a dozen stories featuring his existentialist private investigator using various locales among Cleveland, Youngstown, and fictional Jefferson-on-the-Lake, where Haftmann keeps an office. "Haftmann's Rules," his first full-length work, was partially set in Boston after a short visit there in 1994. White cites as literary influences (besides the major writers of the hardboiled genre like Hammett, Chandler, and Cain) these authors and books for different reasons: William Styron's "The Confessions of Nat Turner" (for its evocative richness of style); Camus' "The Stranger" (for its absence of style and anti-heroic philosophy); Martin Cruz Smith and any Arkady Renko novel (for creating the most original fictional detective in literature); and David L. Lindsey's "Mercy" and several other novels for his psychological probing of evil and his stylistic finesse). A third Thomas Haftmann novel is forthcoming.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert White has created an important new character in the world of crime fiction. Thomas Haftmann is an existential detective who has a knack for finding the lowest common denominator in humanity, gallantly fighting to save the innocent, and getting bloodied for his efforts. This novel moves swiftly into a world of apocalyptic racists and a serial murderer who rivals anyone for intellectual cunning and savagery. Haftmann perseveres and prevails, more by his gut than his intellect, But he is a match for the evil that he encounters because he doesn't care what happens to him. In the end, Haftmann succeeds because he doesn't give up. Anyone who enjoys gritting crime fiction and characters who aren't perfect will enjoy Haftmann's Rules.
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Format: Paperback
HAFTMANN'S RULES by Robert White
reviewed by Nickolas Cook

Thanks to the modern overabundance of high tech tools, writing an exciting hard boiled detective narrative like those penned by such authors as Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, John D. MacDonald or Ross MacDonald, has these days become quite a challenge. I know from experience the sheer time and effort a truly conscientious writer must put into such a labor, if he intends his narrative to read realistic as possible. If one tries to meet the modern definition of contemporary, then one must take into account the advent of technology which makes the old style of hard boiled detectives somewhat anachronistic. After all, with the mass of easily accessible technology devoted to spying and keeping watch over our property, person and fellowman, for what we can only pray are altruistic ends, the sort of old world gumshoe private dicks the above authors once wrote about so convincingly are really out of their league against such seemingly omniscient observation and modern information gathering tools of the trade. The challenge is, of course, to still hand over the goods expected by the sort of hard boiled fiction fan who will most likely read White's "Haftmann's Rules", while still keeping at least one foot in the reality of such a world where these tools do exist, and make such a significant impact on our everyday lives.
With "Haftmann's Rules", Robert White manages not only to meet such a challenge, but also creates a believable "hard boiled sensibility" bubble within this spy tech happy reality in which we live, and still manages to convey the old world literary stylings of such hard boiled fiction masters as Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Thomas Haftmann is a Private Investigator, the sole existentialist P.I. in Northern Ohio. He's also a former Detective with Cleveland Homicide.

The story is sprinkled with Haftmann's Rules, things like, "Every existentialist in good standing must own a gun, and every week the existentialist rulebook says that the gun ought to me inserted barrel first into the mouth. Then you make a choice."

I felt the existentialist PI bit played nicely throughout the book. Added to the character of Thomas Haftmann without getting in the way of the telling of the tale.

In this story, Haftmann's client is John O'Reilly who has hired him to locate his estranged 17 year old daughter. Thing is, Annaliese Marie O'Reilly doesn't exactly want to be found.

As the investigation gets going Haftmann learns plenty about the relationship between client and daughter that flat out disgust him. But, he doesn't give up. He never gives up.

The author, Robert White, has a gift for dialog, imbuing each character with it's own cadence and attitude.

The story itself was totally engrossing and at times I found myself getting lost in Haftmann's world. Things never quite turn out how you might expect and the investigation goes way beyond it's original scope. There some huge surprises. Stuff that left me asking, "What the hell just happened here"?

Haftmann's Rules has plenty of disturbing images. One in particular, which will stick with me for a long time, involves a human water balloon. Needless to say, this book is for mature audiences and those not easily offended.

I did feel the book started to drag a bit toward the end, but at the same time I can say it was worth the read and I can recommend Haftmann's Rules as a solid PI story.
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Format: Paperback
Thomas Haftmann is an ex homicide cop living in Ohio. Now he's a private investigator pretty near the end of his profession. Clients are few and he's struggling with some major physical and mental problems. Haftmann is not your typical upstanding white knight of a PI. He confronts his drinking problem by hanging out in sleazy bars, has sex with women he finds on the Internet, and abuses the good will of the few friends and colleagues he still retains.

He's bright and the novel is littered with his political and philosophical ruminations. His intimacy quotient is low, as his ex-wife would quickly testify. Somewhere in his core, however, is a moral kernel that leads him to put his sanity and his life on the line to try to tease out an unusual serial killer operating in the sleaziest sections of Boston. His entry into this dark and dangerous segment of society, in a town where he has no resources at all, is a search for his client's missing daughter who may be stripping in one of Boston's unsavory clubs.

The novel is well-written, coherent and fast-paced. Make no mistake it is very dark, violent and pretty explicit in several instances. It is a very modern story in that much of the motivations on the dark side are rooted in some of the nastier beliefs of today. The novel takes some effort to get into but somehow, for this reader at least, Thomas Haftmann, in spite of his bizarre rules, grabbed me by the collar and held my interest until the ride was finished.
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