Dynamite Road: A Weiss and Bishop Novelby Andrew Klavan
Jim Bishop is a hard man, as cold as the wind off the water and tough to the point of brutality. Scott Weiss is Bishop's boss, a world-weary ex-cop who runs a private detective agency out of a concrete tower in the heart of San Francisco. In this powerfully original series debut by award-winning and bestselling author Andrew Klavan, Weiss sends Bishop to
Jim Bishop is a hard man, as cold as the wind off the water and tough to the point of brutality. Scott Weiss is Bishop's boss, a world-weary ex-cop who runs a private detective agency out of a concrete tower in the heart of San Francisco. In this powerfully original series debut by award-winning and bestselling author Andrew Klavan, Weiss sends Bishop to investigate corruption at a Northern California airport-and so sets events in motion that will lead both men on a desperate hunt for a master assassin.
Bishop's assignment is to investigate the airport and report back to Weiss. But Bishop prefers to make up the rules as he goes along. He's willing to beat any man into the ground and draw any woman into his bed in order to get the answers he's after. A pilot himself, he takes to the air to check out the illegal flights of a thug names Chris Wannamaker. Then he coolly seduces Wannamaker's lonely wife in order to find out more.
Back in the city, as Weiss struggles to rein Bishop in, he begins a connected investigation of his own. A death in a mansion in Presidio Heights, a seemingly random murder South of Market, an apparent suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge, all seem to bear the mark of Weiss' old nemesis, an expert gun-for-hire who goes by the name of the Shadowman. It's a trail of blood, and each step of it seems to bring Weiss closer to Julie Wyant, a mysterious beauty who captures the imagination of every man she meets.
Soon Bishop has found his way into the center of a massive criminal conspiracy, a plan set to climax with an act of audacious violence and a murder that would be impossible for any killer but one. And with his operative's wife in danger, Weiss begins a race against time to outsmart the murderer who stalks his nightmares and to rescue the woman who haunts his dream.
If you like your tough guys really tough, your femme fatale and your action explosive-welcome to Dynamite Road.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
"Klavan winds his tale tighter and tighter until the reader is hopelessly spellbound. Superb suspense by a master storyteller."-Clive Cussler on Dynamite Road
"A dynamite read about small-town corruption, drug running, and a genuinely terrifying serial killer."-San Diego Union Tribune
"Klavan's riveting blend of mystery, wiseass attitude, and old fashioned moralizing makes for a wild ride."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- Tom Doherty Associates
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Read an Excerpt
ONE It was one hundred and five degrees the day Jim Bishop roared into the north country. The sun burned merciless on the dead meridian. The mountains rose brown and barren on either side of the freeway. The heat pooled like water on the pavement up ahead.
Bishop rolled the throttle of the Harley Road King. The big bike crested seventy-five, pulsing between his legs. It was a long-haul dresser, built for comfort, but Bishop was aching beneath his jeans. His gray T-shirt was black with sweat beneath his leather jacket. His hair was soaked beneath his helmet. His sunglasses were smeared--his windshield too--with what bikers call "protein spray"--splattered bugs.
He veered off the freeway at the end of the long valley. Exit: Driscoll, California, population sixty-seven thousand, the 0last great outpost before the mountains and the woods.
The Harley grumbled as Bishop forced it down beneath its touring speed. He rolled at forty-five along a bland fourlane, hemmed in every which way by a steady stream of cars. Gas stations lined the road and sand-colored malls and more gas stations and motel after motel and then fast-food outposts, Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, and more gas stations and more malls with their stores in sand-colored boxes and the big screaming letters to tell which store was which. The Harley went down one road, turned onto another and then turned onto another and the scenery stayed the same. Gas stations, hotels, restaurants and malls. From behind his aviator shades, Bishop's pale eyes searched for the city center. Then he realized: This was it, this was all there was. Driscoll was just a starburst scar of concrete and stucco at the base of the big mountains. A tourist stop on the way into the wilderness.
He chugged over a white bridge, still hemmed in by traffic. Beneath him, the Sacramento River glinted painfully in the sun. On the far side of the water, around a bend, the cars began to fall away a little. Bishop opened the throttle some, split the lane and wove between a couple of cage-drivers. He wound round the corner onto Main Street--or what was called Main Street. Main Street was pretty much dead. The malls and their chain stores had sucked the life out of it. Now there was a gutted theater here and a desperate bar called the Clover Leaf and a hotel that might have been open or closed, he couldn't tell which. A one-armed man in an army cap was staggering drunk on the sidewalk. A fat man with a bushy beard was planted at the corner, brandishing a cardboard sign that said: Homeless Veteran. Give what you can. Bishop and his big motorcycle cruised on by.
He headed into the neighborhoods. On branching roads, slanting houses of wood or aluminum huddled on scraps of lawn. Fat women in sleeveless blouses hosed down patches of desert garden. Their grubby children danced laughing through the water.
The laughter fell away. The city fell away. A few last gasping shacks and then an empty field, burnt dry by the heat, ran shimmering into the foothills. Far away, as in a dreamland far away, the whitewashed walls of holiday mansions gleamed down at Driscoll from those hills on high. Bishop had reached the edge of town, the border of the northern forests.
He rounded his bike onto a gritty little lane and rode the last half mile to the airfield.
* * *
There were two men in the hangar, both in overalls. One was an older statesman, bald, craggy. The other was a young fellow with a face lit by brainless contentment. They were chatting over the low wing of a Piper Tomahawk. Chatting, chuckling. It was the older man, wiping his hands on a rag, who first looked through the hangar door and saw Bishop heading in.
Bishop had left his helmet hanging from the Harley's handlebars. Stripped off his leather jacket and slung it over his shoulder. He was strolling across the parking lot slowly, slowly surveying the airfield with the pale eyes behind the aviator shades. Bishop was around thirty then, I guess. Not a big man, five-eight or -nine maybe but broad across the shoulders and muscular, pecs and biceps stretching the sweat-dark tee. He had a way of moving, easy and tense, so you sensed his speed and his compact power. He had a round face with chiseled features under sandy hair. And though he looked as if he had his tongue in his cheek, as if he was laughing silently at a joke you were too thick to understand, the older man had been around some and had seen guys like this before. His stomach sank and he swallowed dry as he watched Bishop come on.
Bishop stepped out of the hot sunlight into the hangar's cooler shadows. Stopped at the Tomahawk's rudder.
"Either of you Ray?" he asked.
"Yeah," said the older man. "I'm Ray. Ray Grambling."
"I'm Frank Kennedy," said Jim Bishop quietly. "I'm your new pilot."
Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Klavan
Meet the Author
Born in New York City, Andrew Klavan was a radio and newspaper journalist before turning to fiction full-time. Twice given the Edgar Award for mystery writing, he is the author of the bestselling novels True Crime, recently a film starring Clint Eastwood, and Don't Say A Word, a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox starring Michael Douglas. After living in London for many years, he has now settled in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Ellen, his daughter Faith and his son Spencer.
Born in New York City, Andrew Klavan was a radio and newspaper journalist before turning to fiction full-time. Twice given the Edgar Award for mystery writing, he is the author of the bestselling novels True Crime, filmed starring Clint Eastwood and Don't Say A Word, the basis of a film starring Michael Douglas. After living in London for many years, he has now settled in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Ellen, and his daughter Faith and his son Spencer.
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