RARA-AVIS: The DKA Series & Other Gores Books

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 21 Oct 2001


Re your list of the DKA series for Joe Dante below:

> In order they [the DKA books] are:
> Dead Skip
> Final Notice
> Gone, No Forwarding
> 32 Cadillacs
> Contract Null & Void

Like the Continental Op series (also based on the experiences of a certain San Francisco PI), the DKA series started out as short stories in the top crime fiction magazine of the day. The first story was called "The Mayfield Case." All the DKA short stories are collected in the Crippen & Landru publication STAKEOUT ON PAGE STREET AND OTHER STORIES. It includes an intro by Gores in which he explains who the real-life models were for the various characters, which real-life cases he based his plots on, and where each story fits in the longer saga.

More recently, Gores's latest novel, CONS, SCAMS, & GRIFTS, also adds to the series.

Gores's first novel, A TIME OF PREDATORS, set in the suburban Peninsula region south of SF, tells of a Stanford professor who retrains himself in the long-dormant skills he used as a military commando to go after a gang of juvenile thugs who raped his wife. It won a well-deserved Edgar for Best First Novel.

Someone else mentioned MENACED ASSASSIN as a book about an SFPD lieutenant on the trail of a serial killer. Actually, the villain is a professional hit man, not a serial killer. Despite some long sections about reconciling the theory of evolution with the Genesis creation story (sections I found damned interesting by the way), the book fully qualifies as HB by my standards. One of my favorite SFPD cop novels.

INTERFACE has also been mentioned. IMHO, one of the finest PI novels ever written, with the best surprise ending since Sam Spade refused to play the sap for Brigid O'Shaugnessy. The style, a totally objective third-person narrative (what one writing teacher of mine called "camera/tape recorder") is, like the socko surprise finish, reminiscent of THE MALTESE FALCON


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