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

Robert White
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

The first full-length novel to feature White's recurring private investigator, Thomas Haftmann! Out of jail and back on the streets, Haftmann is hired to find a missing young girl in Boston. But what he uncovers goes beyond just murder, into a world of secret societies, bloodshed, and betrayal beyond anything he has experienced before. HAFTMANN'S RULES is an exhilarating read into one man's maddening journey for truth, justice, and self destruction.

"Haftmann's Rules grabs you by the soul and doesn't let go." --Simon Wood, author of THE FALL GUY

"An intense ride!" - Paul D. Brazill, author of Drunk on the Moon

"White's recurring private investigator, Tom Haftmann, would do Dashiell Hammett proud!" - Sex and Murder Magazine.


Product Details

  • File Size: 681 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Mal Press (September 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MR3FFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,442 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haftmann Rules! October 3, 2011
By dmfuqua
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neo-noir has a new 'killer' writer in Robert White December 21, 2011
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Noir Crime Novel Holds Interest January 19, 2012
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Ah, Haftmann! Ah, humanity. October 2, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despair, angst, absurdity, choice, boredom and death: the making of Existentialism 101? Not so. Robert White, in his latest noir crime novel gives us Thomas Haftmann, private eye, ex-cop, divorcee, and everyman existentialist. In Haftmann's Rules, White without fail gives what a reader might expect from a hardboiled noir fiction: violence and sex, and a cast of characters who are cocky, cold, and calculating.
Yet, White's story teller, the solitary Bartleby-like Haftmann, makes for good company as he takes the reader from the cheap amusement center of Jefferson-on-the-Lake where one cannot distinguish between the smell of greasy food and human sweat to Boston's Fisherman's Wharf and the smell of pizza near Copley Square.
In what proves to be a very readable and clever crime novel, White's Haftmann experiences the very depths of human degradation. But really, can the reader blame Haftmann for the trouble he experiences since all he attempts to accomplish throughout the novel is to find a run-away girl? And why should Haftmann despair when he finds himself "lying in a gutter at dawn in Easy Boston?" After all, Haftmann possesses characteristics that beg for such happenings.
To understand despair and anguish, boredom and death, not to mention to improve one's vocabulary, reading White's Haftmann's Rules is a must. Besides, White is a lot more entertaining than Kierkegaard or Nietzsche.
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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).

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