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The Pain Scale (Long Beach Homicide) Kindle Edition

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Complete Series

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)
  • Publication Date: October 30, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089LQNFS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,852 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More 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 creative writing at California State University in Long Beach, and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Best American Mystery Stories, and numerous other publications. He is the author of A King of Infinite Space and The Pain Scale, the first two novels in the Long Beach Homicide series. He lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 163 people found the following review helpful By deeper waters on 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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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2012
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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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bonner '62 VINE VOICE on 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 By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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