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SMILE ON FACE OF/TIGER, A (ABR.) 2 CASS. Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: BRILLIANCE AUDIO (July 28 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587883155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587883156
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 10.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 95 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 18 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
The Amos Walker series is an outstanding one if you like your private detectives male, tough and laconic. If you like to read about Detroit, so much the better. In A Smile on the Face of the Tiger, Mr. Estleman has risen above the rest of the series by turning Amos Walker into a detective surrounded by a pulp fiction mystery in a pulp fiction book. The book reminded me very much of the classy Hoodwink by Bill Pronzini in the Nameless Detective series.
I listened to the unabridged audiocassette read by John Kenneth, and especially recommend this way of enjoying the book. The telephonic versions of voices are particularly well done, and add a lot to the realism of the story.
Louise Starr, the sexually provocative book editor from Amos's past, has started up her own title. Pulp fiction author Eugene Booth has inexplicably cancelled his contract to reprint one of his paperbacks from the 1950s, Paradise Valley. Starr hires Amos to find Booth and learn why Booth has declined. She hopes to persuade Booth to change his mind. Relying on clues from Booth's novels and leads from his last address, a trailer park near the airport, Amos soon locates Booth through his acquaintances. That shifts the scene to northern Michigan where Booth and Amos become whiskey buddies . . . until tragedy intervenes. What does it have to do with a race riot in the 1940s, a 50-plus year-old murder, and a contract killer?
It's hard to know what to praise the most in this book: the pulp references; the remarkable descriptions; the tough guy dialogue; the action; or the subtle misdirections in the plot. Each aspect is very fine. Seldom does an author totally stump me on motive, but Mr. Estleman easily ran circles around me. I enjoyed the suspense of his unraveling of the tangled skein of clues.
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Format: Hardcover
Most mystery series have become either worn out or routine by the time they get around to their 15th outing. Not so Loren Estlemen's Amos Walker P.I. series. If anything, Estlemen and his hero are getting better. "A Smile of the Face of the Tiger" is the fourth Walker book since Estlemen took a seven year hiatus from his favorite shamus, and it is easily the best of the "comeback" novels. Walker remains one of the few who truly does carry on the torch of Phillip Marlowe with his lonliness, cynicism and uncorruptible nature.
This time out, he tracks a old pulp fiction writer who has disappeared after turning down an advance to reprint one of his old novels. I've seen this story line several times before, but Estlemen gets clever with it. Along the way, he weaves in his usual menacing mobster (a Sammy "the Bull" Gravano clone, no less) and corrupt police officer angles, also in a fresh and unique way. It also helps that Estlemen puts two of the series's better supporting characters, police Lieutenant Mary Ann Thaler and beguiling publisher's representative Louise Starr, to good use this time out. As always, the real hero of the story is the once great city of Detroit, still struggling to regain some of its lost luster, this time with casino gambling.
Overall, Walker is among the best private detectives in the literary world today, and this is one of his best novels to date.
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Format: Hardcover
As a mystery writer with my first novel in initial release, I fondly recall the hours I spent reading Loren Estleman's Amos Walker series as I learned to write PI fiction. Amos Walker is a masterful creation, and A SMILE ON THE FACE OF THE TIGER is a masterful work. In this novel, Walker is hired by a New York publisher to hunt down a paperback mystery writer who will not allow his fifty-year-old classic to be reprinted. Along the way, Walker discovers the author's reasons and undercovers sordid truths about race relations in America. Estleman has dealt with Detroit's history thoroughly in past works, and he has also touched upon the interesting literary history of paperback pulp fiction. Mr. Estleman is at his most effective here in A SMILE ON THE FACE OF THE TIGER. It is a great book, and I recommend it highly.
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