Palos Verdes Blue (Jack Liffey Series #11)

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"Jack Liffey, Los Angeles' most famous child-finder, is hired to find Blue, the missing teenage daughter of his ex-wife's best friend. As the investigation unfolds, Jack discovers an intense turf war on the posh Palos Verdes peninsula. The Bayboys, rich teenage surfers, routinely vandalize cars and terrorize outsiders to enforce a locals-only policy for their own Lunada Bay. They have also started terrorizing the Mexican day laborers who camp in the ravines between the mansions where they work as gardeners and houseboys." When one stubborn,
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Overview

"Jack Liffey, Los Angeles' most famous child-finder, is hired to find Blue, the missing teenage daughter of his ex-wife's best friend. As the investigation unfolds, Jack discovers an intense turf war on the posh Palos Verdes peninsula. The Bayboys, rich teenage surfers, routinely vandalize cars and terrorize outsiders to enforce a locals-only policy for their own Lunada Bay. They have also started terrorizing the Mexican day laborers who camp in the ravines between the mansions where they work as gardeners and houseboys." When one stubborn, admirable Mexican boy decides that he wants to surf the waves of Lunada Bay, the feud turns violent, drawing in arsonists, malicious bikers, racist border vigilantes, and Jack's daughter, Maeve, who once again puts herself at risk to help her father.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Jack Liffey, the private investigator in John Shannon's mysteries, works the roughest territory in the genre—the subculture of the Southern California teenager. That doesn't begin to describe the harrowing rescue job he undertakes when he begins searching for a schoolgirl with a passionate commitment to protecting butterflies and other endangered species, including the illegal Mexican workers camping out on the cliffs above Lunada Bay. Unaware that his own impetuous teenage daughter is endangering herself by trying to help him, Liffey patiently excavates the area's social strata, uncovering layers of antagonism among the privileged rich and their anonymous day laborers, rival surfer gangs and a racist militia group prowling the hills—hostility that bounces right back at parents from their alienated children. (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times)”

“With a hero as brainy, compassionate, and conflicted as Liffey, the only real mystery is why these books aren’t bestsellers. (Keir Graf, Booklist)”

“A rewarding mystery that highlights Shannon's ability to sharply render subtle shades of right and wrong. (Publishers Weekly)”

“One of the finest and boldest detective series ever...an extended valentine to the battered, tattered City of Angels that never fails to entertain and challenge. (Kevin Burton Smith, January Magazine)”

Publishers Weekly

Shannon explores the deep, sometimes deadly divide that separates haves and have-nots in his rewarding 11th mystery to feature 60-year-old Jack Liffey, who specializes in locating missing children (after 2008's The Devils of Bakersfield). Jack's ex-wife, Kathy, asks him to find Blaine "Blue" Hostetler, her best friend's missing teenage daughter. Smart and attractive, Blue was involved in such causes as preserving the habitat of the endangered butterfly, the Palos Verdes Blue, and aiding illegal immigrants. Jack's investigation takes him from L.A.'s ultra-rich enclaves and the surfers' paradise of Lunada Bay to muddy migrant camps and Tijuana. Once again, Jack's daughter, Maeve, puts herself in danger to help her dad, with mixed results. Effectively told in part through letters written by a young Mexican immigrant and others written by a scared teenage surfer to his dad, this installment highlights Shannon's ability to sharply render subtle shades of right and wrong. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Noir master Shannon's (The Concrete River) latest Jack Liffey thriller targets a dirty little secret of one of California's most affluent neighborhoods. When Liffey is hired to find the missing daughter of his ex-wife's best friend, he uncovers an intense turf war that escalates from homeboy harassment to murder and arson in the South Bay enclave of Palos Verdes. A band of rich local surfers bent on preserving their hold on Lunada Bay are terrorizing the Mexican day laborers who camp in the canyons surrounding the mansions they work in as houseboys and gardeners. As Liffey and his daughter Maeve search for the missing girl, they run afoul of a band of zealous border vigilantes, eager to help the locals defend their turf. The residents turn a blind eye to the war zone beyond their manicured hedges until a confrontation turns deadly. Shannon tackles a tough social issue with intelligence and a clear moral compass. His spare, noir style and articulate dialog strike just the right balance between thriller and social consciousness. His growing audience will love this. Recommended.
—Susan Clifford Braun

Keir Graf - Booklist
“With a hero as brainy, compassionate, and conflicted as Liffey, the only real mystery is why these books aren’t bestsellers.”
Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times Book Review
“Jack Liffey, the private investigator in John Shannon's mysteries,
works the roughest territory in the genre—the subculture of the southern California teenager. Unaware that his own impetuous teenage daughter is endangering herself by trying to help him, Liffey patiently excavates the area's social strata, uncovering layers of antagonism among the privileged rich, surfer gangs,
and a racist militia group prowling the hills.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605980379
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 4/7/2009
  • Series: Jack Liffey Series , #11
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 4.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Shannon is one of America’s leading writers of neo-noir. His Jack Liffey series of novels is one of the most critically praised mystery series in the genre and includes Terminal Island, Dangerous Games, The Dark Streets, The Devils of Bakersfield, and Palos Verdes Blue. Shannon lives in Los Angeles.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    John Shannon's newest is impressive

    I enjoyed Devils of Bakersfield because it is loosely based on all to true scandal and nuttiness in that garden spot in the lower San Joaquin Valley. Mr. Shannon is an accurate observer; the developing relationship between Jack Liffey and his daughter Maeve is a pleasure to follow over time. I have been back-tracking through the series and have found it to be a rewarding and impressive effort. Mr. Shannon "gets" Southern California like few others--Gerald Haslam, Mark Arax, the late and great Ross McDonald come to mind. A good, even if formulaic, mystery can tell us something about who we are, what we value in ways that serious literature doesn't attempt. Maybe that's why Thomas Pynchon and Denis Johnson have taken a stab at the genre.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Awesome!

    "Get a big pot, throw in Jack Shannon. Mix him up and what do you get ? ...

    A super page turner with a great cliff hanger at the end!"

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Compelling

    I have never heard of the Jack Liffey series and therefore never read one before. Was I afraid that "Palos Verdes Blue", the eleventh book in the series would confuse me? Yes. Did it? No. Jack Liffey is a detective specializing in finding missing children and he takes on the case of a missing daughter of a friend of his ex-wife. In this novel we deal with illegal immigrants, the different social classes and the surfing community. California got it all. What Liffey doesn't realize is that his daughter Maeve is helping him. All this makes for some exhilarating drama. John Shannon can certainly write a compelling mystery.

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