The Forgotten BookPatti Abbott is doing a series on her blog about forgotten books and she asked me to participate.
Here's the book I'm thinking about...
Imagine it got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. Imagine that the review says the book is "one of the best hardboiled detective novels ever written." Furthermore, the author is "one of the smartest writers in the genre: book smart, in the remarkable lyrical quality of his prose or the frequent brilliance of his imagery; street-smart, like Elmore Leonard, in that his streets and the often terrible people that walk them are so mundanely real; socio-economic smart, in that his dark, almost heartbreaking, depiction of ... society is so believable."
Imagine that Booklist joined PW in giving the book a starred review and called it, "a riveting, violent, eye-opening, laugh-aloud, poignant, dazzling triumph." And went on to say, "Detective fiction doesn't get much better than this!"
Imagine further that The Thrilling Detective Web Site's Kevin Burton Smith says that the author's writing is "like a gonzo version of Chandler turned up to eleven." And that his PI protagonist's "penchant for conning info out of suspects is a joy to read, as he comes off almost like [a special] version of Jim Rockford."
Surely you would know what novel and author I'm talking about. Surely his work would not qualify as a "forgotten book."
A book by James Crumley perhaps? George Pelecanos?
No, the book is Samurai Boogie by author Peter Tasker featuring Tokyo-based private eye Kazuo Mori.
Go read this book. Right now.