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Shotgun Alley (Weiss and Bishop Novels) Mass Market Paperback – September 29, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Weiss & Bishop Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scott Weiss is a middle-aged PI based in San Francisco, an ex-cop with a basset hound's face, a romantic's soul and an empath's ability to read others. Jim Bishop is a young, handsome live wire with a taste for violence, drugs and loose women. Bishop works for Weiss, and the interplay between them is only one reason of many to read this memorable thriller from Klavan (Hunting Down Amanda, etc.). Last (and first) seen in last year's Dynamite Road, Weiss and Bishop here tackle separate cases, with Bishop taking the foreground as he is hired by a millionaire with political ambitions to retrieve the man's teenage daughter, Holly. She has shucked daddy for Cobra, head of a homicidal outlaw biker gang—and the only way to retrieve her is to seduce her. Meanwhile, Weiss takes on the case of an arch-feminist professor at Berkeley who hires him to track down the anonymous man who, she says, has been harassing her with erotic e-mails. Both cases hold major surprises that spin the narrative around. That narrative itself is a surprise, because although most of it is in the third person, Klavan breaks into it from time to time in his own first person, claiming in a foreword that the story is true and based on his early years working for a PI firm. In any case, the story is emotionally true: Klavan's understanding of the human heart and how it can be torn or salved by eros is uncanny. There's sharp action throughout and the interplay between Bishop's wildness and Weiss's moral gravity is a wonder. The book's only flaws are the jarring first-person intrusions, but they're bumps in a joy ride that's as exciting and real as any this year in thrillerdom.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In this breakneck hard-boiled mystery, Klavan brings back the compelling duo who premiered in Dynamite Road (2003): hulking PI Scott Weiss, a brooding, tarnished knight whose hangdog expression oozes weltschmertz, and Jim Bishop, a badass adrenaline junkie saved from a life of crime by Weiss to do the firm's dirty work. His current walk on the wild side involves infiltrating a vicious biker gang to wrest the wayward daughter of a local politico from the clutches of Cobra, a Charlie Manson wannabe with an abrupt bayonet. Meanwhile on the streets of San Francisco, Weiss hunts for the unreconstructed male behind a spate of erotic e-mail aimed at an icy feminist professor with secrets of her own, assisted by a callow intern whose candid first-person asides bring the whole thing down to earth. The mixture of intense action, fierce sexual obsession, and disillusioned longing is irresistible, and as for the hairpin plot, remember this: follow the money, cherchez la femme, and habeas corpus. This is a sure bet for fans of down-and-dirty thrillers ranging from Vachss to Pelecanos to Lee Child. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Weiss and Bishop Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765346958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765346957
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,570,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop burst into the private investigation spotlight for the first time in the thrilling Dynamite Road . Together they form an unlikely but very effective combination, so effective that they have remained in business long enough to feature in Shotgun Alley, a sequel that picks up where Dynamite Road left off.

Andrew Klavan has put an interesting spin on his hardboiled private detective series that just tweaks it a little to give it a refreshing nuance. It's not the investigative work that is carried out although they are very adept at their jobs and the action flows in waves; it isn't Weiss and Bishop's character traits or personalities, although they are very distinctive and well-developed; it's not even the way they operate, although undercover work has featured in both Dynamite Road and Shotgun Alley and is rich in suspense and intrigue. All of these qualities would have drawn me to the series anyway, but the quality that gives the series that little distinctive twist is that it is narrated by Andrew Klavan who is working as a young office clerk in Weiss's firm.

Shotgun Alley is the name of a bar frequented almost exclusively by bikers and, in particular, by a group known as The Outriders. Not an official gang, they display no colours on their jackets, they are considered too violent and unstable to be part of the more formalised biker gangs. Scary thought, huh? They've already proven what they're capable of when Jim Bishop moves into their midst in a not-so-subtle way. The raw, tough, sneering persona of the biker outlaw comes easily to Bishop making him the ideal operative for the undercover job he has been assigned. His job in this case is to infiltrate this criminal crew and lure away the leader's girlfriend, Honey.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A detective agency run by an ex-cop is solicited to find the wild, hot-blooded daughter of an aspiring politician. The blonde bombshell, all of 17, is wrapped up in a hot affair with the leader of a motorcycle gang too wild by even Hell's Angel's standards. And oh yeah, she's an accessory to murder, too.Enter Jim Bishop, unfeeling operative, with no apparent human emotion other than physical cravings, who enjoys violence for its own sake. He is assigned to take the girl away from the rambling philosopher and lunatic she loves, and turn her over to a safe haven. Bishop becomes a gang member, causing death along the way, while his boss, Weiss, worries about his going too far and running too many risks. Exceptionally violent, the brutality and sex in this book fit the story without being gratuitous. And that ending...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel and was delightfully surprised with Klavan's literary talents. Good character foils between Weiss and Bishop and the story becomes credible as it develops. Initially I thought the violence as too predictable, however the level of violence was consistent with the story and the convoluted relationships controlled by Honey.

Very entertaining.
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Format: Hardcover
Over the weekend, I read Andrew Klavan's second Weiss and Bishop novel, _Shotgun Alley_, and really enjoyed it, though in retrospect, the book is chock-full of cliches: the tough guy hero who infiltrates a biker gang and proves himself to be just as virile as the rest and a femme fatale right out of film noir. But Klavan writes with such power and assuredness, that the whole thing comes to vivid life and it moves.

Jim Bishop is charged with bringing back the daughter of a rich man who is planning a senate run. In an act of rebellion, she's joined a biker gang made up of misfits and castoffs too crazy to be accepted in the traditional gangs (there's even a "Mad Dog"; at one point, a character says "What does a biker have to do to earn the nickname Mad Dog?"). They're the Outriders and they're not above killing a few innocent bystanders who might get in the way of their smash-and- grab thefts.

Back at the office, Weiss has been hired by a feminist professor to track down the person responsible for a string of sexually-harassing emails. The only problem is she's been receiving them for over nine months--it turns out she's fallen in love with the sender and wants help tracking him down. The process of finding out who the sender is allows Weiss some time to reflect on his own unrequited love for his fantasy woman from the previous
novel. He knows that there's an unstoppable killer out there, just waiting to follow him should he try to find this woman, but he's not sure if that should stop him from trying.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has a few starts and stops that kind of leaves the reader feeling like they were on a bumper car ride. The writing is very jagged. Klavan has a style that feels like he were narrating the entire novel from the vantage point of a 1940's MGM/Bogart voice over. In my opinion, I think that Klavan heads away from his stronger areas and concentrates too intensely on too many action scenes.

The parts of the book that just click and are kind of magical are when Klavan writes beyond Weiss and Bishop and concentrates on the third character in his series... himself. I could have just kept reading and been a very happy camper if Klavan had forgone the rest of the story and focused on the relationship that is touched upon between himself and the girl in the pizza joint.

What I have put into this review here are some of the stronger negative points that I encountered. Its a pretty good book. I can think of many protagonist series' that I would rather have another sequal to instead of another Weis/Bishop book, but its not that bad either.
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