Streets on Fire by John Shannon
A Jack Liffey Mystery

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In the gripping fifth novel of what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls a “lean and literate” crime series, Jack Liffey—the rough-edged, compassionate private detective who garners even more enthusiastic reviews and fans with each new case—once again searches the volatile and dangerous ethnic communities buried in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles for another of the city’s mysteriously lost. This time out, Liffey is looking for a prominent 1960s civil rights campaigner’s adopted son, who has gone suspiciously missing in the wake of an unsettling run-in with a motorcycle gang at a local jazz club. The whole city is unsettled, in fact, by the choke-hold death of Abdullah-Ibrahim—a black Muslim and the Dodgers’ new ace spitball pitcher—at the hands of the L.A. police. In the course of his investigation, Liffey runs afoul of skinheads, white supremacists, and black separatists. He also confronts his own latent racism before the city erupts into the full-fledged civil riot that could cost Liffey his life.

About John Shannon

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John Shannon is one of America's leading writers of neo-noir. His Jack Liffey series of novels is one of the most critically praised mystery series in the genre. The Devils of Bakersfield is the tenth book in the series. Shannon lives in Los Angeles.
Published April 10, 2002 by Carroll & Graf. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Young, black Amilcar Davis and his white girlfriend, Sherry, both college students, vanished two months ago after an ugly confrontation with members of a notorious biker gang famous for blatant racism and hair-trigger violence.

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Publishers Weekly

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The specter of racial armageddon raises its ugly head in this extended diatribe that's more racial polemic than mystery novel, the fifth Jack Liffey caper after 2001's acclaimed The Orange Curtain.

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