Obedience (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #10)
The death of a Vietnamese immigrant brings former death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter out of retirement.
As an insurance investigator, Dave Brandstetter built a reputation unraveling suspicious deaths. Now, well into middle age, he has decided to retire for the sake of Cecil, the young TV reporter who loves and cherishes him, and has too often risked his own life for Dave’s work. But retirement does not come easily.
Dave never did it for the money. He always had that. Nor did he tirelessly work cases in hopes of chasing renown. It was always the pursuit of the truth that drove Dave. He enjoyed the truth’s habit of coming into direct conflict with bigotry, allowing him to surprise the small-minded along the way.
It doesn’t take much arm twisting, then, to get Dave back in the saddle when an old friend in the public defender’s office asks him to help Andy Flanagan, a shiftless young man accused of murdering a Vietnamese businessman to defend the Old Fleet — a shantytown of houseboats that has been earmarked for development. Beneath the surface of this oil-slicked slum lurks an international conspiracy so appalling that Dave will regret postponing his retirement.
Praise for Obedience (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #10)
PRAISE FOR THE DAVE BRANDSTETTER NOVELS
"In Brandstetter, Hansen has created a hero worthy of such predecessors as Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Macdonald's Lew Archer... Book after book, we're happy to walk down the mean streets in his company."
—John Powers, NPR's Fresh Air
"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