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Gas City by Loren D. Estleman
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Amazing book - not so much for the plot or the characters as for the whole package. Set in a mythical city, presumably in the Midwest, this story involves two major plotlines - the police chief, who has just buried his wife, has decided to buck the system he's supported for years and actually enforce the law, even in "the circle," the part of town ruled by criminals. And someone is butchering women and leaving their parts in garbage bags around the city. Both of these plotlines intersect in a hotel detective and erstwhile alcoholic pimp, who comes out of his haze when he has a chance to do some real detecting. Estelman has always had a yen for the past (in books like Retro) but here the world of Gas City is hermetically sealed, a world unto itself, where people occasionally use phrases that are from the 1930s and yet the police has a son who died years ago in Vietnam. Though it's somewhat disorienting, it's a richly detailed, internally consistent, and lavishly described world, full of lyrical passages and sometimes hilarious throwaway lines. This is one of those books you have to give yourself to. Adapt to its pace, savor the lines, and don't worry about what time it is.
  bfister | Jul 14, 2008 |
Jacket Notes:
Setting this drama in a blue-collar metropolis dominated by an oil company, Estleman crafts a fascinating, deadly tapestry of love, ambition, revenge, and redemption--in all, a stunning portrait of the human condition.
  mcplinfo | Apr 7, 2008 |
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"Beneath the surface of a blue-collar Midwestern city roil dark undercurrents of lust, power, revenge, and madness. Loren D. Estleman exposes the black heart of Gas City. The city's placid facade is ripped away when greed and corruption, ambition and desire ignite a crisis in the wake of a serial killer's grisly rampage." "Police Chief Russell has been paid to look the other way for more than two decades while mob boss Anthony Zeno ran the city's vices. But the death of Russell's wife reawakens his sense of duty, and his sudden moves to regain his lost control trigger a power struggle between him and his benefactor. The stakes get higher when ruthless politicians try to make capital out of rising crime statistics and the whiff of scandal. When news media looking for big headlines get wind of the story, what started as a minor dispute suddenly looks to blow Gas City sky high." "Estleman, with an unerring eye for telling detail and an ear for dialogue that reveals the secret desires of his characters, crafts a deadly tapestry of love, jealousy, revenge, and redemption, a stunning portrait of the human condition."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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