Troublemaker 03 November 1997
About the Author
Heather Wendell had heard the shot and then seen a light coming from her son's room. She went to investigate because Rick Wendell should have been at work and found a young man, stark naked, wiping off a revolver with Rick lying dead at his feet. Rick was part owner of a gay bar, The Hang ten, with ex boxer, Ace Kegan. The accused man, Larry Johns, had no defence. Had Johns killed Rick? Dave Brandstetter had to find out not only to do his job as a claims investigator for Medallion Life Insurance but also because he didn't like pat answers. Dave's investigation led him through the local gay community and into the world of arts and architecture, while the police and other interested parties pursued different avenues to the truth and what they uncovered, none of them could have anticipated.
"The Brandstetter stories develop strongly with a striking quality of measured calm" Sunday Times
"After 40 years Hammett has a worthy successor" - The Times
"Unusual in two respects. One is that the insurance investigator, though ruggedly masculine, is thoroughly and contentedly homosexual, the other is that Hansen is an excellent craftsmen, a compelling writer." - New Yorker
"The most exciting and effective writer of the classic private-eye novel working today." L.A. Times
"spare and stylish" - Financial Times
"Hansen is to gay detective fiction what Sara Paretsky is to feminist sleuthing." - Pink Paper
Fadeout is the first of Joseph Hansens legendary novels featuring gay sleuth Dave Brandstetter.
Judging by the wreckage of Fox Olson's white convertible, it looked as if the singer had missed a narrow wooden bridge and plunged to his death. Then where was the body?
Olson's wife, daughter and son-in-law insisted it would be found. But insurance claims investigator Dave Brandstetter had his doubts. He thought Olson had chosen to disappear.
Doggedly Dave pursues leads, and finds: a relationship between Olson's wife and his manager too warm to call friendship, the sudden return after twenty-odd years of a man who had been Olson's closest boyhood friend, and more than one "fan" who had reason to resent Olson's hard-won success.
'Unusual in two respects. One is that the insurance investigator, though ruggedly masculine, is thoroughly and contentedly homosexual. The other is that Mr. Hansen is an excellent craftsman, a compelling writer.' New Yorker
'The most exciting and effective writer of the classic private-eye novel working today' L.A. Times
'Another classic private-eye novel: detailedly vivid . . . tenderly erotic.' The Times (of Gravedigger)
A masterly portrayal of loneliness and sexual obsession. 'Hansen's writing is sharp and economical. He has an eye for the exactly relevant detail . . ' Gay News (of A Smile In His Lifetime)
When a moonlighting truck-driver dies in suspicious circumstances, Brandstetter's search for the truth leads him through the fraying edges of the American dream to the poison at its centre. A brilliant evocation of the desolate underside of contemporary California. and a story of chilling tension.
'Hansen has combined the depth and humanity of mainstream fiction with pacing and plotting in the finest tradition of mystery fiction, and come up with a strong series of consistent quality that puts him in a position one is tempted to classify as greatness.' Dictionary of Literary Biography
'In Joseph Hansen, it seems to me, Hammett has a worthy successor.' H.R.F. Keating, The Times
'Joseph Hansen combines an intricate, well-machined plot with a superb evocation of the Californian scene.' T.J. Binyon, Times Literary Supplement
'Read in the order written, [the Brandstetter mysteries] are remarkably linked through symbol, incident and character, to the point that one sees them as a single multi-volume novel, by which one may learn a great deal about what it means to be homosexual and male in modern America.' Robin Winks, The New Republic
'This is another fine thriller from one of the genre's frontliners. Sniff out pronto.' Time Out
'A writer who can be very funny, exciting and who allows tenderness to break through the toughness.' Roger Baker, Gay News
Joseph Hansen the author the acclaimed Dave Brandstetter mysteries, including Gravedigger, as well as the highly praised novel A Smile in His Lifetime, a masterly evocation of human relationships. His verse has appeared in The New Yorker and his stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines. In 1965 he founded the pioneering homosexual journal Tangents. In 1974 he was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts and lived and wrote for a time in England.
Bibliographydenotes American Publication