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The Pain Scale (Long Beach Homicide) [Kindle Edition]

Tyler Dilts
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Long Beach homicide detective Danny Beckett returns from a year-long medical leave badly scarred and in constant pain, yet determined to prove he still has what it takes to do the job. He gets his chance when a call comes in that shocks even the toughest guys in the squad room: A California congressman’s daughter-in-law and grandchildren have been brutally murdered in their upscale home. At first glance, it looks like a robbery gone wrong, but Danny’s not so sure. Something doesn’t quite add up. With state and local law enforcement in an uproar and the media circling like vultures, the pressure’s on for Danny and his partner, Jennifer Tanaka, to solve this one. Too much is at stake…and not just politically. Even if they manage to crack the case, there’s no guarantee the stress won’t derail Danny’s recovery. Because while the doctors can treat his physical pain, no one can erase the agony of the past that haunts every step he takes—and threatens to destroy his career once and for all.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As a child, Tyler Dilts dreamed of following in the footsteps of his policeman father. Though his career goals changed over time, he never lost interest in the daily work of homicide detectives. Today he teaches at California State University in Long Beach, and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Best American Mystery Stories, and numerous other publications. He is the author of A King of Infinite Space, the first in the Danny Beckett series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 473 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612186025
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089LQNFS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
155 of 158 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book Measures Up Well November 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have become somewhat disillusioned with the quality of books that focus on crime investigation and was not expecting a great deal from this one. "The Pain Scale" turned out to be a well written tale. The characters are believable and multi-dimensional. Despite not having read the first book in the series, the author smoothly got me caught up. Mr. Dilts has an intelligent style of writing that does not attempt to imitate anyone else nor is the plot a thinly veiled rewrite of headline news. NPR was plugged intensely but inoffensively and there was a pleasant absence of the steamy sex that authors seem to feel compelled to include. Engaging and worth reading.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Pain Scale by Tyler Dilts is an intriguing and skillful mystery with character development that is impressive. It focuses on Long Beach California Homocide Detective Danny Beckett who, with his partner, Jen Tanaka, are trying to solve a heinous crime.

A brutal crime has taken place in a ritzy area of Brentwood and a mother and her two children have been murdered. The mother was sexually tortured prior to her murder and the children were each shot to death. The types of crimes that Danny deals with torture him. He not only deals with psychic pain but with physical pain.

"Pain is relative. It's been years since I've been able to sleep through the night on any kind of a regular basis. Even before I nearly lost my hand, I was already in a kind of pain. My wife burned to death in a car accident a few years ago. I've killed two teenagers in the line of duty. And as I've already mentioned, I've been obsessing over homicides for more than a decade."

In the first book of this series, Danny nearly lost his hand while trying to solve a case. He has had several operations for this injury. He treats his excruciating and chronic pain with Vicodin and Grey Goose Vodka. As he says, "pain does strange things to you...And to live in pain is to encounter the darkest possibilities of your imagination. When you do what I do every day, those possibilities are very dark indeed." He goes to a pain therapist who suggests he practice visualization but he finds that his pain lessens when he is on the job and absorbed with his work.

The chapters are not chronological. Rather, they are numbered according to the pain level that Danny is experiencing. The Pain Scale goes from one to ten, with ten being the most severe.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and Interesting Premise November 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I liked this book from the start and worried it was going to run out of steam but it never did. The hero is a Long Beach detective just back from a long convalescence leave. He and his partner get right into a convoluted, high profile murder. As the story progressed with twists and turns and the cast of characters grew I was sure it was all going to get blurry but it never did. I have been universally disappointed by grads of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and this guy learned his craft at Long Beach State's program so I was sure he was going to screw up. But the story held up to the end. Readers who are local cops will especially like the story because when the FBI comes in they wind up getting their just desserts. The pain in the title refers to the chronic pain that the hero suffers because of his line of duty injury that was presumably described in the first book in the series. He lives on a diet of Stoly, Vicodin and 2-3 hours of fitful sleep a night. The near constant identical references to the pain did little for the story and got old very quickly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars California Noir November 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Tyler Dilts makes good use of traditional noir boilerplates, upending readers' expectations in ways that keep us wanting to pay attention. Instead of relying on our familiarity with traditions, like the sarcastic loner hero and the villain for hire, he creates them anew, giving us characters who want to rejoin the human race, but for whatever reason cannot. His attempts to imbue old stereotypes with new motivations revive the noir tradition for today's generation.

Detective Beckett doesn't want to hold the human race at arm's length. He remains friends with an old case witness, tries to keep good working relations with his fellow LBPD detectives, and has a puckish sense of humor. And he isn't a conscious "man outside his time." He reads widely, savvies technology, and gets liberal arts in-jokes. His learned indie hipster persona resembles nothing so much as, well, me.

But his personal history is studded with suffering. He lost both his father and his wife violently, which plagues him, but also gives him remarkable sympathy for the victims he must investigate. His last major case left him a scar running the length of his left arm, so pain marks every moment of his life. In other words, unlike your typical smart-mouthed noir hero, Beckett has unusual cause to fend off the world with sarcasm and arrogance.

Also unlike typical noir heroes, Beckett understands himself as damaged. Where Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe think themselves honorable for alienating others and nursing grudges, Beckett realizes the trials he puts others through. He tries to make amends, but finds himself impeded by his constant pain, which prompts him to lash out at the worst possible moments. This alternating presence and absence of awareness gives Beckett's edge real human dimension.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book
Very complex book that is easy to lose your way while reading. Way too much about the pain aspect of the primary character, it really took away from the plot in the overall story.
Published 28 minutes ago by Bill Swann
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta have MORE in this series!
I'm bummed. I read these in the wrong order, but I don't mind - they are all great. The Long Beach Mystery Series is really, REALLY good, and now I've read them all. Read more
Published 2 days ago by JustJoJo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was the first book that I had read by this author. I would read more books by him.
Published 3 days ago by Renda Otis
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Tyler Dilts
If you love a good homicide story you will love the book by this author! I haven't read a book in years, but have read 2 books in 2 weeks by Tyler Dilts. Don't miss out!!
Published 3 days ago by Jerri Baehl
4.0 out of 5 stars A second good visit to Long Beach Homicide.
This second in the series of Long Beach Homicide books carries on the promise that this is a newer writer as good as Patterson
Published 4 days ago by LINDA A. ROOT
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay read
I kind of had to struggle through it. I really think it
might be because it's not my type of book
Published 4 days ago by Linda S. Lolli
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant I feel like I know Danny Beckett
Excellant I feel like I know Danny Beckett personally
Published 4 days ago by Shirley Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as a Harry Bosch novel
I don't usually write reviews of the books I read. This book was inexpensive and sounded like my favorite type of book about a detective. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first in the series.
Ok read... First book was better. Character development seemed more detailed and interesting in the first novel in the series.
Published 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Another good book by Tyler Dilts, however, I liked his other books better. This was a little slow, left you unsatisfied with the ending. Can't help but love the main character.
Published 5 days ago by Ellen Blaze
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More About the Author

Tyler Dilts grew up in Southern California and received his MFA from California State University, Long Beach, where he now teaches. His writing has appeared in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCTION, THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES, and in numerous other publications. A KING OF INFINITE SPACE is his first novel. You can contact him online at And you may even run into him, awake in the darkness, long after midnight, somewhere in Long Beach.

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