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From the acclaimed author of Primal Fear, a stunning new suspense epic of California corruption the first half of the twentieth century.

About the Author

William Diehl shot to fame with the publication and subsequent filming of his novel SHARKY'S MACHINE. Since then he has written several other bestsellers, including PRIMAL FEAR - also filmed to great acclaim. He and his wife live in Woodstock, Georgia.


In 1941, Zeke Bannon and his partner, Ski Agassi, tackle a case of a woman who has been electrocuted in her bathtub. Besides finding that she led a very quiet, unhappy life, they discover her shocking wealth she has $98,000 in the bank and has been receiving a $500 check every month for over 20 years. The Los Angeles medical examiner then reveals that she was murdered. The trail leads to San Pedro, CA, a small, stately town that used to be a wide-open criminal haven called Eureka. Upon arriving there, Bannon meets Brodie Culhane, the local peacekeeper and would-be governor of California. He is not very helpful, but Bannon does not let that stop him from digging into the lives of San Pedroans. Diehl (Reign in Hell) spends the first half of this book introducing characters and setting down story lines. Then the plot takes off, and the reader can't catch his or her breath until the last secret is revealed. Using past events to precipitate murder and revenge, Diehl has written his most unusual and possibly best novel to date. For all fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/01.] Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

HFollowing a four-year hiatus after the somewhat lackluster Reign in Hell, the third volume of the Martin Vail thriller series, legions of this bestselling author's readers will herald this triumphant comeback as his best novel ever. Combining the psychological chiaroscuro of L.A. Confidential with the dramatic sweep and stylish noir of Chinatown, this labyrinthine, multigenerational epic scrolls across the still-lawless frontier landscape of California. At the turn of the 20th century, Eureka, the railhead Sodom and Gomorrah of Southern California, is replete with whorehouses, gambling, dark political intrigues and steamy liaisons. Fast-forwarding through WWI to the last days of WWII, the plot examines the coming of age of this seedy patch. Recovering in 1945 from WWII wounds that earned him a Silver Star, LAPD Det. Zee Bannon is handed a briefcase containing files concerning a mysterious woman found dead in her bathtub. The case was left unresolved in 1941, just before he went off to war, and Bannon is unable to discover the victim's history before her move to L.A. in 1924. But her sizable bank account and a trail of anonymous cashier's checks eventually lead back to Eureka (since renamed San Pietro), where now legendary Sheriff Thomas Culhane's bid for state governor is at stake. Infidelity, murder, murky secrets, a deeply affecting love story and an old-fashioned showdown will keep fans spellbound right up to the fully satisfying if not so surprising denouement. Vividly cinematic, rich in atmosphere and peopled with believable characters, this novel serves notice that Diehl is one of the best thriller writers working today. (Mar.) Forecast: Expect this winner to hit bestseller lists early and hard. Southern regional author appearances and a teaser chapter in the mass market reissue of Primal Fear will further spur sales. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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