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The Heat's On Paperback – November 28, 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (November 28, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394759974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394759975
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A rattlingly good action melodrama spiced with a maximum of humor and a minimum of self-consciousness.”
    —The New York Times 

“One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius.”
    —Walter Mosley

“Some of the most exciting—and comic—crime novels ever written.”
    —The Washington Post
 
“Chester Himes is the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler.”
    —San Francisco Chronicle

From the Inside Flap

From the start, nothing goes fright for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones. They are disciplined for use of excessive force. Grave Digger is shot and his death announced in a hoax radio bulletin. Bodies pile up faster than Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones can run. Yet, try as they might, they always seem to be one hot step behind the cause of all the mayhem--three million dollars' worth of heroine and a simple albino called Pinky.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
In spite of this I enjoyed the book as much as Cotton Comes to Harlem.
Sandra Greenberg
The book becomes about their symbolic struggle to retain a sense of personal worth, moral code and agency amidst the degradation, racism and crime that surrounds them.
NYC Family
When it comes to crime fiction, Chester Himes remains one of the great ones.
Donald E. Gilliland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on February 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are a few things you can depend on in Chester Himes's great police procedurals featuring Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones : colorful characters, distinctive dialect, a fierce racial sensibility, and plenty of mayhem. Meanwhile, the stories are pleasantly devoid of the kind of self-analysis and interior monologue which clutter up so much of modern fiction, even crime fiction. The Heat's On is something of an exception. Oh, there's more than enough mayhem and what with a giant albino junkie, a hunchback dwarf, a pony-sized attack dog, a faith healer, and various and sundry other folk about, there's certainly adequate local color.
But when, first, the detectives are suspended for treating the dwarf a tad too roughly (for instance, he dies in custody) and then Digger is shot and reported killed, Cotton Ed lets his slip show a little. He becomes a frenzied dynamo of barely contained brutality as he tears a steaming hot Harlem apart searching for the cache of heroin that led to the whole mess. This is a terrific entry in the series and is particularly interesting for Himes's fearsome hostility towards the drug traffic which was blighting the inner-city even then. His attitude makes for an interesting contrast with the permissive modern attitude of many black leaders, who decry harsh prison sentences for drug dealers. It's awfully hard to see Coffin Ed, Grave Digger, or Chester Himes arguing that pushers are victims of an unjust drug war.
GRADE : A
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on February 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
There are a few things you can depend on in Chester Himes's great police procedurals featuring Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones : colorful characters, distinctive dialect, a fierce racial sensibility, and plenty of mayhem. Meanwhile, the stories are pleasantly devoid of the kind of self-analysis and interior monologue which clutter up so much of modern fiction, even crime fiction. The Heat's On is something of an exception. Oh, there's more than enough mayhem and what with a giant albino junkie, a hunchback dwarf, a pony-sized attack dog, a faith healer, and various and sundry other folk about, there's certainly adequate local color.
But when, first, the detectives are suspended for treating the dwarf a tad too roughly (for instance, he dies in custody) and then Digger is shot and reported killed, Cotton Ed lets his slip show a little. He becomes a frenzied dynamo of barely contained brutality as he tears a steaming hot Harlem apart searching for the cache of heroin that led to the whole mess. This is a terrific entry in the series and is particularly interesting for Himes's fearsome hostility towards the drug traffic which was blighting the inner-city even then. His attitude makes for an interesting contrast with the permissive modern attitude of many black leaders, who decry harsh prison sentences for drug dealers. It's awfully hard to see Coffin Ed, Grave Digger, or Chester Himes arguing that pushers are victims of an unjust drug war.
GRADE : A
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Greenberg on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones are 2 of strongest characters and 2 of the toughest partners in crime fiction. However in this volume of the Himes series they play an almost secondary role. In spite of this I enjoyed the book as much as Cotton Comes to Harlem. Coffin Ed will go to extremes to revenge his partner as he unravels this mystery.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a huge Chester Himes fan and this book is so lame I shelved it after 50 pages. Its not funny. Its not interesting. It has no thrills. I wanted to give it one star but maybe it suddenly got better later tho Himes books start out better than this, and I've read them all.
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By W. Core on July 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love this book! I'm a big fan of Chester himes and his story's are very intertaining and vivid. Easy read
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