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When Last Seen Alive (Aaron Gunner Mysteries) Hardcover – December 29, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Aaron Gunner Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (December 29, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399143033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399143038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,046,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A young Los Angeles woman wants series star Aaron Gunner to locate her brother, who never returned from the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. Gunner soon finds himself tangling with black extremists and the FBI. Realistic and compelling.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Elroy Covington came a long way to disappear--all the way from the Million Man March in Washington to a run-down motel in Hollywood--but his sister, Yolanda McCreary, is convinced that even though LAPD Missing Persons has given up the search, Aaron Gunner can find Covington. Aaron, already busy trying to photograph L.A. city councilman Gil Everson with one of the limping prostitutes his wife Connie is convinced he favors, is none too eager to take on the case. Even so, he hands the snoop job off to aspiring teenaged photographer Sly Cribbs in order to look for Covington himself--and before you know it, somebody's tried to kill both Sly and Aaron and (talk about coincidence) steal crucial photos from both of them. Aaron's sure the councilman's beefy bodyguard could tell him all about the attack on the kid, but he thinks something still doesn't jibe, and he's right: The tug-of-war between the Eversons is more complicated than he can see. And the search for Covington leads Aaron (It's Not a Pretty Sight, 1996, etc.) into even deeper trouble with the Defenders of the Bloodline, a black-supremacist answer to the Ku Klux Klan bent on executing all the Uncle Toms the KKK might have missed on their last trip through town, and with a five-year-old newspaper scandal that won't stay dead. Ingenious but slapdash in the details, with Aaron continuing as one of the most maddeningly intuitive detectives since Nancy Drew. Start reading for the plot, and you'll stay, as usual, for the flavorsome African-American backgrounds. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

GAR ANTHONY HAYWOOD is the Shamus and Anthony award-winning author of twelve crime novels and numerous short stories. He has written six mysteries featuring African-American private investigator Aaron Gunner; two starring Joe and Dottie Loudermilk, retiree crime-solvers and Airstream-owning parents to five grown Children From Hell; and four standalone thrillers.

Haywood's first of six mysteries featuring African-American private investigator Aaron Gunner, FEAR OF THE DARK, won the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus award for Best First Novel of 1989, and his first Gunner short story, "And Pray Nobody Sees You", won both the PWA's Shamus and World Mystery Convention's Anthony awards for Best Short Story of 1995. His short story, THE FIRST RULE IS, was featured in the 2010 edition of Best American Mystery Short Stories, and THE LAMB WAS SURE TO GO, his most recently published Gunner short story, garnered him his third Shamus award in 2011.

Haywood has written for both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and for such television shows as NEW YORK UNDERCOVER and THE DISTRICT. His two most recent novels are the urban crime drama CEMETERY ROAD, which Publisher's Weekly called "a beautifully crafted novel of unintended consequences" in a starred review, and ASSUME NOTHING, which was published by Severn House in December, 2011.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
South Central Los Angeles private investigator Aaron Gunner is working on two cases that seemed simple when he first accepted both of them. However, as Aaron should know by now, one never should judge a case by its inital appearance, especially when women are the clients. City Council man Gil Everson's spouse Connie hires Aaron to catch, in living color, her husband committing adultery. Yolanda McCreary wants Aaron to locate her missing sibling, Elroy Covington. Elroy has been missing since the Million Man March, a historical event attended by Aaron also.
The Everson case is a snap until Aaron learns that a weird prenuptial agreement muddies what should have been lucid waters. The Covington case should also be relatively easy, but instead the trail is pure frozen tundra. Aaron begins to wonder if Covington has been offed by a black separatist group, "The Defenders of the Bloodline". The group expects Aaron to join them as part of the solution or die as part of the problem. If that is not enough pressure on the private investigator, his inquiries has brought Aaron to the attention of the FBI, who want to use him to bring about the end of the group. Trapped between a hard place (the Defenders) and a rock (the FBI), Aaron continues his tour into hell (also called LA) in trying to learn what happened to Covington.
WHEN LAST SEEN ALIVE is a great private detective story, starring the wonderful Aaron Gunner in his fifth mystery. The bomb story line is fast and hip and loaded with social insight without turning the star into a preacher (Garth Ennis does that well enough). Aaron is a top gun who is one of the leading sleuths on the market today. This reviewer strongly recommends all five of Gar Anthony Haywood's Gunner mysteries if readers want enjoyable detective stories that provide insight into living in South Central. California.
Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gar Anthony Haywood has done it again. As usual, he has two plots going at once and the reader has to figure out "who done it" for both of them. He doesn't have predictable endings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blackworm on May 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Aaron Gunner story, and it won't be my last. This book had the the P.I. tackling two mysteries at the same time. Looking for a disreputable writer missing for over 9 months and tailing a congressman in search of his indiscretions had Gunner at his wit's end, but each plot had it's own twists and turns, and there was no way to guess each ending. Believe me, I tried! It is so hard sometimes to settle down with a good mystery, because in order for the story to work, the detective must be familiar and accessable to the reader. With this P.I., it was no problem. If you are a fan of Walter Mosley's Easy Rollins or Valerie Wilson Wesley's Tamara Hayle, then this guy is for you. Good Work, Mr. Haywood!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on January 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Aaron Gunner is a streetwise private eye working out of an office in Mickey Moore's Barber Shop in Los Angeles. He's already working for Connie Everson who wants him to find out who her City Councilman husband is having an affair with--she already knows about his white woman, but fears she has a black rival. Now, he's also hired to find Yolanda McCreary's brother, Elroy Covington. Elroy never returned home from the Million Man March. When last seen, he was in LA at the Stage Door Hotel and he had Gunner's card in his room.
Looking for Elroy leads Gunner to Barber Jack Frerotte, a notorious razor blade wielding psychopath and then to the Defenders of the Bloodline, who are dedicated to ridding the African-American community of "Uncle Toms".
As always, Haywood is stronger on setting, character & dialogue than on the actual mechanics of the mystery. While he doesn't measure up to James Sallis or Walter Mosely, it's still a fun series.
GRADE: C
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