Re Ned Fleming's comments below:
"Gangs and gang-warfare are perhaps an overlooked fertile field for
the modern hard-boiled writer. I can only conjure to mind Lehane's
pathetic and unreal 'A Drink Before the War' as an example of
hard-boiled writing that incorporates such gang-based murder."
I don't, off-hand, know of many PI novels that deal with street
gangs. Gar Anthony Heywood has written at least one Aaron Gunner
novel and Robert Crais one Elvis Cole novel on the theme, but I can't
remember the titles. However, street gangs are a fairly common theme
in urban police procedurals. One of former US Treasury Agent Gerald
Petievitch's best novels, *Earth Angels*, deals with street gangs.
Petievitch's brother, John, was a gang detective in LAPD. *Earth
Angels* is based on John's experiences. *Hail to the Chief* by Ed
MacBain uses street gang warfare as an allegory to the Watergate
scandal. John Ball's *The Murder Children* was based on the author's
experiences as a part-time deputy in the LA County Sheriff's Office.
The movie *Colors* and the many episodes of *Hill St. Blues* in which
Capt. Furillo negotiated peace treaties between the various street
gangs in his precinct also point to the perisistence of this theme in
cop stories. - Jim Doherty
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