The Pistol Poets: A Novel

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The Edgar-nominated author of Gun Monkeys is back with a thrill-a-minute suspense novel that mixes crime and academia—with hilarious results. Here Victor Gischler draws us into a wild and wicked world, where tenured professors are busy burying bodies, cash-up-front P.I.’s hunt for missing coeds and one desperate street-tough has to decide which he’d rather be: a live poet or a dead criminal.

An unlucky grad student just got himself killed in a robbery gone bad. And as lowly drug lieutenant Harold Jenks races with the killer out of the alley, a light goes off in his head: He’ll steal the dead kid’s identity. Now Jenks, who once lorded it over seven square blocks in East St. Louis, is headed due west. With a .32 in his pocket, a 9mm Glock taped across his back, and a rap sheet nearly as long as Finnegans Wake, he’s cruising the halls of academia as Eastern Oklahoma U’s newest grad student, looking for action and hoping he can stay one couplet ahead of his violent past.

While this new bad boy on campus makes mincemeat of his metaphors, across campus visiting professor Jay Morgan has a more pressing problem: What to do about the dead coed in his bed. The professor’s no killer, but try telling that to private eye Deke Stubbs. With the professor on the lam and Stubbs hot on his trail, more trouble blows into town. Now, as St. Louis drug boss Red Zach and his minions converge on Fumbee, Oklahoma, looking for a consignment of missing cocaine, the bullets start flying faster than the zingers at a faculty hate fest. For Morgan and Jenks, now desperate fugitives from poetic justice, survival means learning new skills—and learning fast. Because if they find out they’re bottom-of-the-class, that means they’re already dead.

Featuring the sleaziest, sorriest, and most captivating group of criminal lowlifes, sexed-up academics, poets, and rappers ever to collide in one crime novel, The Pistol Poets speeds deliriously to its electrifying payoff.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Victor Gischler teaches creative writing at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping through his pants. His wife, Jackie, thinks he is a silly, silly individual. He drinks black, black coffee all day long and sleeps about seven minutes a night. Victor’s first novel, Gun Monkeys, was nominated for the Edgar Award.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Delacorte Press
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Published on
Feb 3, 2004
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780440334828
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Hard-Boiled
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from “a superb craftsman of suspense” (Entertainment Weekly).

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, Was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father’s life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense . . . and deadly.

Praise for Past Tense

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“[Lee Child] shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic

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“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.”—Library Journal (starred review)
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