Shadow Boxer by Eddie Muller
A Billy Nichols Novel

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In his celebrated debut novel, "The Distance," author Eddie Muller created a world of "gritty authenticity" "(Booklist)," plunging readers into the atmospheric and electrifying boxing culture of the 1940s, as seen through the eyes of morally complex and charismatic boxing columnist Billy Nichols.

Now, in "Shadow Boxer," Billy is back on the beat for the "San Francisco Inquirer." But his problems are hardly behind him. A man's in jail, accused of murder. But did he do it? By aiding a beguiling woman, Billy stumbles on evidence that could exonerate the defendant, who only months before was one of the town's top fight promoters. One big problem -- the victim was Billy's secret lover, and he has no desire to help set her killer free.

But once his reporter's instincts kick in, Billy can't let go of a twisting trail of suspense that stretches from Tenderloin fight clubs to Marina district mansions, from mountain retreats to the Hall of Justice. He squares off with an intriguing cast of characters: a bombastic novelties promoter, a former colleague turned muckraking lawyer, a society doyenne on the skids, a crooked booze distributor, a shifty deputy DA, an opera-crooning pugilist, a homespun abortionist, a crafty and celebrated defense attorney, a murderous stalker -- and the unfathomable Virginia Wagner, a leggy legal secretary with many more secrets than just the gun in her handbag.

Clues are unveiled, allegiances formed, friendships betrayed. Billy wonders if he's nothing more than a shadow boxer futilely sparring with phantoms. And if he discovers the truth about the murder and the shocking facts behind it, will his conscience force him to come forward -- or to bury theevidence?

In "Shadow Boxer," Eddie Muller takes risks unusual in crime fiction, making clear that when it comes to pitch-perfect noir inflection and top-shelf suspense, nobody does it better.


About Eddie Muller

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Eddie Muller is the author of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir and Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir. A noted film noir expert, he organizes and hosts the annual film noir festival at Los Angeles's premier film revival house, American Cinemateque, where he is the official programmer.
Published January 7, 2003 by Scribner. 272 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A “lush-lipped, one-time dreamboat” asks him, “You the guy they call Mr. Boxing?” and the next thing Billy knows he’s paying a call at the county lockup, where his own evidence sent Burney Sanders, whose missus is a powerfully persuasive dreamboat, particularly to guys like Billy who are suscepti...

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Publishers Weekly

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The action picks up immediately after the first book, where Billy managed to avoid a jam (advice to boxing writers: don't get involved in burying corpses in Golden Gate Park) and to ease Burney Sanders behind bars.

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San Francisco's "Mr Boxing" - sports writer Billy Nichols - is begged by ex-promoter Burnell Sanders to get him out of a hole.

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