The Man Everybody Was Afraid Of (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #4) (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Other Books in Series
This is book number 4 in the A Dave Brandstetter Mystery series.
- #1: Fadeout (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #1) (Paperback): $15.00
- #2: Death Claims (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #2) (Paperback): $15.00
- #3: Troublemaker (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #3) (Paperback): $15.00
- #5: Skinflick (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #5) (Paperback): $15.00
- #6: Gravedigger (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #6) (Paperback): $15.00
- #7: Nightwork (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #7) (Paperback): $15.00
- #8: The Little Dog Laughed (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #8) (Paperback): $15.00
- #9: Early Graves (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #9) (Paperback): $15.00
- #10: Obedience (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #10) (Paperback): $15.00
- #11: The Boy Who Was Buried This Morning (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #11) (Paperback): $15.00
- #12: A Country of Old Men (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #12) (Paperback): $15.00
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DAVE BRANDSTETTER
The murder of a conservative police chief in a fishing village north of Los Angeles sends death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter into the no-man's land between cops and activists in this brilliantly plotted mystery, which perfectly captures California in the mid-1970s.
A small-town Chief of Police with reactionary politics and national ambitions, Ben Orton struck fear in the hearts of anyone who fell out of line in his little fiefdom of La Caleta. Most recently that has included gay rights activists pushing for the hiring of a police officer from their community. When big Ben is found in his backyard bludgeoned to death by a large terracotta pot, the police arrest the outspoken gay owner of a local nursery.
Orton had a life insurance policy that brings death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter north to pry. As far as Dave can tell, the cops did almost nothing to investigate Orton’s death and what evidence they did compile doesn’t seem to add up. Dave quickly learns that the pool of suspects is much deeper than the police reported. Ben Orton may have seen himself as a pillar of the community but what many in La Caleta saw instead was a violent man whose commitment to enforcement didn’t always also include room for the law.
With an ailing father in the hospital and a relationship headed toward the rocks, a very distracted Brandstetter finds himself making more wrong moves than right while those on the other side of the thin blue line are making it painfully obvious his presence is not wanted.
About the Author
Joseph Hansen (1923–2004) was the author of more than twenty-five novels, including the twelve groundbreaking Dave Brandstetter mystery novels. The winner of the 1992 Lifetime AchievementAward from the Private Eye Writers of America, Hansen was also the author of A Smile in His Lifetime, Living Upstairs, Job's Year, and Bohannon's Country. He was a two-time Lambda LiteraryAward-winner.
PRAISE FOR THE DAVE BRANDSTETTER NOVELS
"In an auspicious event for mystery readers, Syndicate is reprinting all 12 of Joseph Hansen’s pioneering Dave Brandstetter novels over 12 months. “Fadeout,” the first in the series featuring the comfortably gay World War II vet and L.A. insurance investigator, was published in 1970. As Michael Nava points out in his insightful new introduction, that’s when gay sex was a criminal act in 49 of the 50 states. Through grit and sheer talent, Hansen found a wide audience… Crime fiction fans who don’t know Hansen’s work are in for a treat."
—The Washington Post
“Joseph Hansen is not only one of America’s best mystery writers, he is a great American writer. Period. Full stop.”
"I can only applaud the republication of Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter books. I've increasingly come to regard the phrase 'an important writer of crime fiction' as oxymoronic, but if one's going to use the label, Hansen's not an unreasonable bearer of it."
“Incredible books, much overlooked.”
"The Brandstetter books are classics of the private eye genre... It's great to see them available again."
“First published over fifty years ago now, Hansen’s novels are not just clever and compelling stories, but to my mind they are also a feat of incredible bravery. I wish I’d discovered him sooner.”
—Russ Thomas, CrimeReads
“Hansen is one of the best we have… [He] knows how to tell a tough, unsentimental, fast-moving story in an exceptionally urbane literary style.”
—New York Times Book Review
“After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor.”
—The Times (London)
“Mr. Hansen is an excellent craftsman, a compelling writer.”
—The New Yorker
“Apart from its virtues as fiction, Hansen’s Early Graves is a field correspondent’s breathtaking dispatch from a community in the midst of disaster.”
“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.”
—The New Republic
“Hansen is quite simply the most exciting and effective writer of the classic California private-eye novel working today.”
—Los Angeles Times
“No one in the history of the detective novel has had the daring to do what Joseph Hansen has done: make his private eye a homosexual…who is both a first-rate investigator and one of the most interest series characters in the history of the genre.”
—David Geherin, The American Private Eye
“The first thing I ever read by Joseph Hansen was Fadeout (1970). It’s the seminal novel in a mystery series about a smart, tough, uncompromising insurance investigator by the name of David Brandstetter. He is a Korean War vet and ruggedly masculine. He’s educated, principled, compassionate — but willing and able to use violence when nothing else works. He represents the (then) new breed of PI — the post–World War II private investigator. There are no bottles of rye in Dave’s desk, there are no sleazy secrets in his past, and the dames don’t much tend to throw themselves at him. He is neither tarnished nor afraid. Oh, and one other thing. He’s gay…. He was not the first gay detective to hit mainstream crime fiction, but he was the first normal gay detective, and that — as the poet said — has made all the difference.”
—Josh Lanyon, from The Golden Age of Gay Fiction