The Giants are hanging on to the slim hope of a spot in the Major League baseball playoffs.
The Forty-Niners are hoping for their first win of the season after three losses.
Vinnie “Strings” Stradivarius is in the intensive care ward at St. Francis Memorial Hospital—and Jake Diamond is hoping Vinnie will both survive and avoid a homicide indictment if he pulls through.
Vinnie has been double-crossed, shot and left for dead at a crime scene, and he is the chief suspect in the murder of one of the city’s most influential businessmen.
Anyone who knows Vinnie knew he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
But the District Attorney and the San Francisco Police Department brass don’t know him—and they don’t care. Pressure from the Mayor’s Office and the public is calling for a quick indictment and conviction—and Vinnie is handy.
Jake Diamond has a strong dislike of the double-cross. If asked why the chicken crossed the road, Jake would suggest the road had crossed the chicken.
In a race against time—with the help of Darlene Roman, Detective Sergeant Roxton Johnson of the SFPD, Sonny “The Chin” Badalamenti, bookmaker William “Big Bill” Conway, and Mob Underboss Tony Carlucci—Jake frantically scrambles to find answers before the case is closed with Vinnie taking the fall.
In Abramo’s first Jake Diamond mystery since the Shamus Award-winning Circling the Runway, Jake is determined to prove that you cross the chicken at your own risk.
Praise for the Jake Diamond mysteries:
“One of my all-time favorite PI series.” —Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of The Lock Artist
“Think it’s impossible to find a new take on the wise-cracking San Francisco PI? Meet Jake Diamond and think again…sharp and smart, convincing and complex.” —S.J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author of Absent Friends
“With Catching Water in a Net, Abramo shows a clear flair for the private eye genre and wisely keeps the twists coming fast enough that readers have no choice but to keep turning pages.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“J.L. Abramo’s Circling the Runway takes up where Black Mask boys like Hammett, Gardner, and Carroll John Daly left off. It’s loaded with tough guys and hard-boiled action—emphasis on the hard.” —David Housewright, Edgar Award-winning author of Unidentified Woman #15
Private investigator Nick Ventura knows trouble—but not how to keep his nose out of it. A pool of blood spreading across a casino poker table, a Buick plowing through a storefront with a dead detective aboard, a fatal rendezvous in the shadow of a Coney Island landmark, a childhood friend gunned down walking his dog in the wrong place at the wrong time, a film distributor who thinks he can get away with murder through intimidation and violence, a mob boss assassinated leaving a neighborhood restaurant, and the particular brand of retribution necessary to level the playing field in the fourth largest city in America—J.L. Abramo serves it all up with a vengeance.
Lefty Wright had it all figured. In fact he was doing the math as he crawled into the deserted house through the kitchen window. Get to the bedroom, crack open the wall safe, grab the envelope, fifteen minutes. One thousand dollars a minute. Nice score.
What Lefty neglected to factor in were the unknowns. And when the police nab him red-handed and discover the dead body of a prominent Criminal Courts Judge stuffed beneath the bed, Lefty finds himself charged with first degree murder with no shoes, no one believing in his innocence, and one phone call. He calls Jake Diamond.
In his second outing, Diamond attempts to prove Lefty’s innocence while investigating a recent kidnapping and a fifteen year old homicide which may or may not be related to Lefty’s dilemma. From San Francisco to the avocado fields of central California to the sound stages of a film shoot in Denver, Diamond’s suspects seem to have one thing in common; they are in no condition to talk by the time Jake gets to them.
Praise for CLUTCHING AT STRAWS:
“A worthy successor to Catching Water in a Net, Abramo’s second in the San Francisco based Jake Diamond series is a clever and well-crafted detective novel, gritty enough to satisfy hard-boiled readers but not so dark that it will put off more traditional mystery fans.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“This workmanlike second entry in the Jake Diamond series finds the San Francisco PI searching for the real killer of an unpopular local judge after one of Diamond’s clients, an accomplished burglar having a very bad night, is fingered for the murder. Although the story is light on action and suspense, it’s comfort food for PI fans.” —Booklist
Lives are taken in the name of greed, retribution, passion and the lust for power—and the only worthy opponent of this senseless malevolence is the uncompromising resolve to rise above it, rather than descend to its depths.
The heart pounding sequel to the acclaimed novel GRAVESEND— from Shamus Award-winner J. L. Abramo—CONEY ISLAND AVENUE continues the dramatic account of the professional and personal struggles that constitute everyday life for the dedicated men and women of the Six-One and of the saints and sinners who share their streets.
“As Chandler brought life to sun-drenched Los Angeles with his rich and vivid descriptions, and Hammett’s Continental Op gave you a San Francisco where you could taste the gin and feel the fog, Abramo paints an equally richly textured portrait of Brooklyn. You taste the lasagna, smell the coffee, hear the sound of the elevated train. CONEY ISLAND AVENUE is an emotionally packed chronicle of good and evil, triumph and tragedy and—just below the surface—Abramo’s narrative is a universal tale of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.”
—The Denver Review
Praise for GRAVESEND
“In our top five for best of 2012 is J. L. Abramo’s GRAVESEND. This is a remarkable book that will tie you in knots as you wait to see how it all plays out. A truly exceptional novel.”