"As dark and twisted as anything Hammett or Chandler ever dreamed up [...] leaving Travis McGee in the dust." Kirkus, Starred Review
"Approaching the level of Lawrence Block is no mean feat, but Goldberg succeeds with this engaging PI novel." Publishers Weekly
Harvey Mapes is a 26-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start... which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren.
The lowly security guard jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his private eye fantasies and use everything he's learned from Spenser, Magnum, and Mannix. But things don't exactly go according to the books...or the reruns. As Harvey fumbles and stumbles through his first investigation, he discovers that the differences between fiction and reality can be deadly.
With the help of his mortgage broker neighbor and occasional lover Carol, Harvey uncovers a blackmail plot that takes a sudden and unexpectedly tragic turn...plunging him into a world of violence, deception and murder... and forcing him to discover what it really takes to be a private eye.
"Lee Goldberg bravely marches into territory already staked out by some fierce competition -- Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, the early Harlan Coben -- and comes out virtually unscathed." The Chicago Tribune
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wannabe sleuth Harvey Mapes works the graveyard guard shift at the exclusive Bel Vista Estates in Camarillo, California. His enjoyment in life comes from hard boiled detective novels and TV shows and occasionally his neighbor of six years Carol has sex with him though she holds out for a better guy than Harvey is.................. Wealthy resident Cyril Parkus hires Harvey to follow his wife Lauren because he wants no paper trail preferring to pay in cash and easy to obtain reports. Harvey enjoys trailing the beautiful Lauren. He soon realizes she is being blackmailed. He also gets into a car accident with an illegal and receives a beating from the blackmailer yet Harvey in spite of a diet of Advil and Pepto enjoys what he is doing encouraged by Carol who sees enthusiasm in him for the first time. That is until the case spins deadly and Harvey is relived of further duty................. This is a terrific satire that lampoons hardboiled detectives from novels and TV as Harvey imitates them only to get beaten up and more. The story line is action-packed, but contains a tongue in cheek look at the sub-genre. THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE is a pure gold winner that leaves the audience re-looking those car chases and human tails that is standard success in literature and television............. Harriet Klausner