From the author of Act of Deceit and A Criminal Defense comes the third book in the thrilling series featuring ex-SFPD detective Harlan Donnally.
They call it pulling the trigger.
Not by a killer in the night, but by a judge on the bench.
Twenty years ago, Judge Ray McMullin proved to the people of San Francisco he could pull that trigger by sentencing Israel Dominguez to death for a gangland murder. But it meant suppressing his own doubts about whether the punishment really did fit the crime.
As the execution date nears, the conscience-wracked judge confesses his unease to former homicide detective Harlan Donnally on a riverbank in far Northern California. And after immersing himself in the Norteño and Sureño gang wars that left trails of bullets and blood crisscrossing the state and in the betrayals of both cops and crooks alike, Donnally is forced to question not only whether the penalty was undeserved, but the conviction itself.
Soon those doubts and questions double back, for in the aging judge’s panic, in his lapses of memory and in his confusions, Donnally begins to wonder whether he’s chasing facts of the case or just phantoms of a failing mind. But there’s no turning back, for the edge of night is fast closing in on Dominguez, on McMullin, and on Donnally himself.
About the Author
Steven Gore is a former private investigator turned “masterful” writer (Publishers Weekly), who combines “a command of storytelling” with “insider knowledge” (Library Journal). With a unique voice honed on the street and in the Harlan Donnally and Graham Gage novels, Gore’s stories are grounded in his decades spent investigating murder; fraud; organized crime; corruption; and drug, sex, and arms trafficking throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has been featured on 60 Minutes and honored for investigative excellence. Gore lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“Night Is The Hunter” is a detective book not just about solving a crime, but about the understanding of what constitutes a crime. Can a crime be perpetrated by the court’s own prosecutor based on the way he or she handles a criminal case? This book deals not only with this, but also with the reality, injustice, and cruelty of Alzheimer’s disease. Ex-detective Harlan Donnally thought his days of police work were over when he was forced into retirement. The San Francisco Police Department forced him out after he received a disabling gunshot wound to his hip during a street shootout between two members of rival gangs. When the shooting started, two innocent bystanders were killed and Donnally wounded by the shooters, before he succeeded in taking down both antagonists. After years in retirement, Donnally thought this was all just ancient history. After agreeing to look into an old case for a an aging judge, the past comes back to haunt Harlan. With the life of a convicted prisoner on the line; a judge’s failing memory, and mounting self-doubt lead Donnally down a dark path to the truth about not only the innocence of a condemned man, but perhaps the truth of his own involved shooting. This is a well written, very insightful, thought provoking story of an ex-detective who is not afraid to ask the hard questions to get to the truth. It is backed by the author’s years of experience as a private investigator. Book provided for review by LibraryThing and William Morrow Books.
Steven Gore treats his audience to the latest installment of his Harlan Donnally detective series: Night is the Hunter. In the pristine beauty of winter making way for imminent spring, Harlan Donnally and his long-time friend, Judge Ray McMullin, stand immersed in their thoughts as they unconsciously cast their lines. In the quiet waters at the base of Mount Shasta, Donnelly assesses the troubled expression on McMullin’s face. This was supposed to be a day of fishing. Unfortunately it ended with Donnally’s realization he had yet another case to investigate—a case Donnally didn’t know would be the foundation for vindicating his friend’s death penalty decision. Twenty years before McMullin decided a case that would deposit a man on death row. Now it was Donnally’s turn to expose a corruption that ran far too deep and lay beneath an unstable surface for way too long. Israel Dominquez was on death row for a gangland murder. He professed his innocence throughout the trial and never changed his story the closer he got to making his final journey to his execution. Sadly, nobody believed him. This is to say until Judge Ray McMullin decided to question his own processes leading to the decision of death (and the twenty year gap between the decision and the imminent day of reckoning is upon him). Was McMullin too young and entrenched in making his own legacy back then? Did his personal mission of notoriety cloud his judgments and has his conscience come back and tapped the Judge on his should before it’s too late? Or perhaps, Dominquez really is guilty and the fact he was a member of the notorious Norteno gang of Northern California solidified his inevitable fate. These along with many other questions were the foundation for Donnally to don his investigative cap once more and hone his skills to get to the truth no matter the damages that would be deposited in its wake. In the three years I’ve been a book reviewer, I find myself often uttering the phrase: “...while I’ve yet to read any of XXX’s work, after reading XXX, I plan to go back and read...” Once again, my promise to do just that will hold true in the case of Steven Gore’s work. It is a sheer pleasure to pick up a book written by an author who clearly demonstrates he had the vision of how he would tell his story from the first paragraph on. In Night is the Hunter, Gore not only demonstrates a confident command of his pen, but displays the obvious: he had a thought and knew how he would play it out across the pages to not only engage his audience, but the end result would be a terrific detective thriller that manages to keep the reader on the edge of his seat throughout the read. If I had my druthers of what it is I like to read in a book, hands down it would be to see an intentional balance between prose and dialogue—dialogue taking the forefront more than prose. Gore portrays the ability to do so in Night is the Hunter. What makes this book even more interesting is his obvious knowledge of knowing his way around a homicide investigation. Why wouldn’t he given his credentials of “...renowned private investigator turned 'masterful' writer...”? Night is the Hunter takes real situations, current events that plague our society today and mixed together, what plays out is one, fine novel. Thanks Mr. Gore! This is a great read and I look forward to future adventures of Harlan Donnally. Quill says: Night is the Hunter is a detective thriller that will have the reader engaged from the opening paragraph to the proverbial ‘the end.’
In every situation in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. Cliche' but so true. Steven Gore is a master storyteller dealing with all three. His characters come to life on the page. They are realistic, dimensional, and suffer all the mental frailties humans are plagued with. Gore masters a thought provoking and investigative suspense tale as he weaves in and out of the lives of his characters. His story is revealed one nuance at a time, thoughtfully, well plotted and flows smoothly. This novel also explored an aging mind as a sub story and was well delivered. I recommend it to all who enjoy mystery suspense and love accompanying the Harlan Donnally's of the world as they figure out the who and why dun its. Very enjoyable read.