Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Lowertown (Herman Jackson Mystery) Paperback – October 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
The world is ready for a hard-boiled hero named Herman. Especially this one. He’s a bondsman in a shady part of St. Paul—the Lowertown of the title—and he’s witty, urbane, and good natured. So are most of the people he runs into as he goes about seeking solutions. In fact, for long stretches, the novel is a series of lively conversations with congenial spirits. The reader would like to sit in. Oh, yes, the mystery. A public defender who seeks Herman’s help is murdered, but the defender’s corpse turns out to be somebody else’s remains. Another somebody forges Herman’s name to get a mad-dog killer out of jail. Herman’s efforts to right the wrongs leads him toward a white-slavery scheme. All the interesting people become, unfortunately, stooges of the plot as it warps into an actioner. Now the cute girl is chambering a round, Ma and Pa are shouldering shotguns, and Herman is leading a blazing attack on the villain’s redoubt. Flip through the action, but savor the good stuff: Herman jawing with his funny friends. --Don Crinklaw
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Herman Jackson grew up in a not-very-nice section of Detroit where he learned a number of nasty tricks that serve him well in hot situations. He’s now a citizen of Saint Paul where he plies a legal business as a bail bondsman. That profession brings him into contact with a wide range of citizens who are engaged with the legal system for a variety of reasons. Some of them are solid citizens. Many are not. Jackson doesn’t really care. He guarantees the presence at trial by bonding folks. It’s not his job to assess guilt or innocence, only to calculate if they’ll show up and if the collateral offered is worth the bond. So what does he do when he is implored to bond a guy he knows will skip if released? He refuses to bail the criminal, naturally. So imagine his surprise to discover that a bad dude named Valento has obtained release on a bond that Jackson knows he never signed.
Jackson goes looking for Valento and stumbles into a truly nasty criminal enterprise that is so tangled, Jackson has to travel to the southern shores of Lake Superior more than once and it’s January. Along the way as he journeys to the pleasant community of Bayfield, Wisconsin, he is beset by a growing mob of seriously dangerous people whose entire effort seems to be to do away with Mr. Jackson.
This is a really good story, and Herman Jackson and his small coterie of helpers is up to the task, but the clever way they discover truth, identify miscreants and get themselves in and out of paralyzing danger is the stuff of excellent storytelling. Highly recommended. My copy of the novel was supplied at no cost and with no expectations attached.
Richard A. Thompson
Forty Press, Oct 1 2013, $16.95
When Herman Jackson lived in Detroit, he was a bookie and racketeer. Deciding to go straight, he moved to St. Paul where he opened up a legitimate bail bonds office.
Public Defender Trish Hanover asks Herman to bail out alleged serial killer-rapist Ray Valenti from the Hennepin County jail. None of the Minneapolis bondsmen will float the bail for this vicious charmer, but Herman visits the jail where the cops tell him don't let this psychopath back on the street. Herman tells Ray in jail and Trish in her apartment no. When he leaves Trish's condo, someone knocks him out. Herman awakens at Regional Hospital suffering from a concussion. He soon learns he allegedly bailed out Ray; Trish has been viciously murdered; and the killer's PD is Chris Parker not Hanover. With "Wide" Wilkie, Herman investigates how someone used his name to bail out a ruthless killer.
The latest Herman Jackson investigation (see The Fiddle Game and Frag Box) is an action-packed Twin Cities noir that grips the audience throughout. Fans will enjoy the antics of the wisecracking head cracking (including his own) sleuth and his sidekicks as Richard A. Thompson provides the audience with a strong mystery.