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Damnation Street (Weiss and Bishop Novels) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 10, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Two-time Edgar winner Klavan again puts his own quirky spin on classic noir in his slam-bang third contemporary crime thriller to feature PIs Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop (after 2004's Shotgun Alley). Paunchy, moralistic Weiss, head of the Weiss Detective Agency in San Francisco, is still searching for bewitching prostitute Julie Wyant (aka Julie Angel), who's threatened by a relentless murderer the press has dubbed "the Shadowman." Weiss's nihilistic operative, Bishop, ignores all caution to help his boss. The terse, third-person narration occasionally switches to first person as Klavan, who claims to have worked for Weiss, inserts himself in the story, which he describes as a fictionalized memoir. While this authorial intrusion may interrupt the main action, it leads to some hilarious consequences. After drawing the reader in with a gripping plot and engrossing characters, Klavan produces a jolt at the end when he slyly reveals that... it's all fiction!
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* A haunted, hard-drinking PI. A whore with a heart of gold. A remorseless killer with a gift for disguise. Blood, rain, and long nights behind the wheel. It takes genuine talent to make these tropes feel fresh--and Klavan's got talent to burn. In the successor to Dynamite Road (2003) and Shotgun Alley (2004), shambling, intuitive Scott Weiss is trying to save Julie Wyant, a hooker he has never met, from the Shadowman, a psychopath intent on torturing her to death. Weiss hunts Julie knowing full well he is being followed, leading the killer to his prey in order to bring him into the open. It's a great plot device, creating a bizarrely symbiotic relationship between Weiss and the Shadowman. Adding to this book's pleasures is the way Klavan posits it as a fictionalized memoir, inserting himself into the story as a budding writer and wannabe tough guy. His youthful naivete casts Weiss' weary-souled musings on the dark side of human nature into even sharper relief. Damnation Street has it all: great characters, inventive plotting, darkness, light, horror, and humor, all fused into a relentless tale of suspense that will have readers in agony to know how the final shot is fired. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Scott Weiss is a big man with a basset hound face, an ex-cop turned PI with a soft spot for prostitutes. Jim Bishop, an adrenaline junkie and definite bad-boy-lost, was one of Weiss' operatives until he betrayed his trust ("Shotgun Alley"). Andrew Klavan is the Jimmy Olsen of the operation, an earnest young man who has met his soul mate but been diverted by lust.
Weiss has taken up the trail of Julie Wyant ("Dynamite Road"), a prostitute "with the face of an angel" who spent one night with the sadistic "Shadowman" and has been on the run from him ever since. As evil and clever and crazed as psycho "specialist" killers come, the Shadowman is using Weiss to find Julie - as Weiss is using Julie to find him. When Bishop comes cross a crucial piece of information about the elusive killer he joins the hunt, bent on saving Weiss from certain death.
And Klavan is left to hold down the fort. Under the direction of Sissy, the lonely, lovely, older woman who has distracted him from his true love, Emma. And he gets his first client. A Pulitzer Prize winning author who wants his daughter Emma followed - yes, that Emma.
Klavan gleefully uses every cliché in the genre, punching the story to the edge of parody. And it works. The relentless story moves so adroitly that every skillful twist seems as plausible as it is clever - the ratio of lighted motel lights to cars in the lot, for instance, alerting Weiss to the killer's presence, and the killer's use of disguise and misdirection to slip away once again.Read more ›
Jim Bishop, a violent and street-smart former employee of Weiss, is at a crossroads in his life. Having stolen money from Weiss, he is now charged with being an accessory to murder, thanks to his "girlfriend," who has killed four people. Bishop feels some loyalty toward Weiss, though he lacks the discipline to work in the "civilized world," but he becomes involved when he fears Weiss's life is in danger. The writer-narrator, a thirty-something klutz who has been having an affair with Sissy, a secretary in Weiss's office, is really in love with Emma McNair, daughter of a college professor. As these three plot threads interweave, the action is fast, furious, and often bloody.
Entirely plot-driven, the novel strives for sensation, relying on improbabilities, coincidences ("If this were fiction, you'd complain about the coincidences" says the narrator), horrors which may be dream sequences, characters who may be "undead," and every plot device of the early noir novels--hidden cameras, trap doors, and secret rooms. Because Weiss is described as able to "get inside people's thinking," he doesn't need to analyze events carefully or engage in brainstorming before taking action against the most threatening of villains.Read more ›
The man who calls himself John Foy, dubbed "the Shadowman" by the media, is also still tracking Julie for his own perverted purposes which include his belief that he also is in love with her based on a one night encounter. Both these protagonists are obsessed with Julie, or what Julie represents to them. Scott has come to realize the only solution to this on-going cat and mouse game is for him to find Julie knowing "The Shadowman" will follow him setting up a final, ultimate confrontation. Foy also realizes the unhealthy symbiotic relationship that has developed between he and Weiss and also agrees to an inevitable confrontation with the three of them...of course, with a different predicted outcome than Weiss's.
Scott's former employee, the nihilistic, violence prone Jim Bishop, is still trying to find himself when he stumbles upon information that Weiss is in deadly peril from "The Shadowman" due to a secret strategy guaranteeing Scott's death. Bishop's respect for Weiss impels him to enter the chase and save Scott thereby redeeming his own self respect and meaning in life. Now we have four main characters all moving across the chessboard with similar plans yet vastly different motives.
Klavan's pacing is non-stop, full-speed-ahead action leaving little time to stop and catch your breath. It is one of those books that if you like these characters, you will find most difficult to put down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One bad chapter does not mean a bad book. Klavan had to give his best character his due and circumstances limited what could be done. That said, this book is terrific. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Steve Benoff
The Weiss/Bishop novels make a great trilogy & I recommend starting with Dynamite Road, the first one. Klavan is a born raconteur and is also funny and insightful. Read morePublished 15 months ago by miasarx
Weakest by far of the three Weiss and Bishop detective thrillers. In this one we go back to the missing persons case that was in book one - Dynamite Road (an excellent book) . Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Watson McFestus
The last installment of the vastly underrated Weiss-Bishop trilogy, with Damnation Street, Andrew Klavan has accomplished a remarkable feat The second book, "Gunshot Alley" was... Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by crafty lefthander
DAMNATION STREET by Andrew Klavan is the third in the series featuring detectives Scott Weiss and Tim Bishop. Read morePublished on July 12, 2011 by Bill Garrison
The conclusion of the matter is what seems to float or sink most story series. Even if previous installments are watertight, no one will much care if the ending is as shipshape as... Read morePublished on January 4, 2011 by Loren Eaton
I stumbled on Damnation Street first, then ended up reading them in reverse order. Reading the trilogy in the correct order is generally recommended. Read morePublished on September 8, 2010 by J. R. Beck
Good book in great condition. Timely delivery and priced just right. Amazon is the best place to buy books. Read morePublished on April 6, 2010 by Claudia C. Catruita
THE BAD NEWS FIRST: You're going to want to read Dynamite Road and Shotgun Alley before you read this one. That's bad news because you'll have to find them first. Read morePublished on September 11, 2009 by Arnold F. Williams