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Daniel Hallford

Daniel Hallford is from San Francisco, California and attended the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught High School in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where his students at Soledad and Vacaville Prisons included such infamous names as Sirhan Sirhan, Charles Manson, Juan Corona and Dan White. After teaching in the prisons he made the transition to Parole Agent working in various parts of Northern California. His short stories are available in the collection Tattooed Love Dogs, which has been  ...See more >

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"A dozen coarse tales drenched in criminals, drugs and hard crime. His stories are populated by pedophilic reverends,abusive husbands, angry jailbirds and folks who just seem to attract danger... By no means dry or dull..."

Kirkus Reviews


Hometown San Francisco, Ca.

Favorite author Elmore Leonard


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1608605200
Page count: 224pp

A dozen coarse tales drenched in criminals, drugs and hard crime.

San Francisco–native Hallford (Upper Noe, 2006) continues to write California-based fiction with this collection of bleak tales. Hardscrabble characters and their messy lives are the focus: Two young drug dealers in the title story allow a girl to come between their decades-long friendship with deadly consequences, while the pretty, barely legal stripper in “Lap Dancing” moonlights by delivering packages for the lucrative drug mule operation run by her convict boyfriend. As in his former works, Hallford excels at characterization, and this acumen propels pages of raw dialogue and menacing subject matter. His stories are populated by pedophilic reverends, abusive husbands, angry jailbirds and folks who just seem to attract danger, like Maurice, a California newcomer in the standout piece, “Tumble Down,” whose new life becomes a deadly mess in a matter of days. Less successful is the story “Letters from Duke and Michelle,” which is comprised of listless, expletive-laden epistolary exchanges. There are also a few scattered sequences in which the author’s prose becomes overly melodramatic and convoluted; this is exemplified in “Light, Bountiful Light,” when a prison inmate reflects: “Instinct had guided him and the awareness of existence had not existed at all but was an indistinguishable pinhole of light so tiny it became unimaginable.” Atmospheric and relentlessly stark, Hallford’s prose presents a parade of downtrodden characters stomping through Sacramento, Oakland and San Francisco’s popular Mission, Fillmore and Bayview districts with ice in their hearts. There’s just enough intrigue here to keep readers titillated, but the author only scrapes at the surface of the trouble and tension his bold characters ignite.

An uneven collection with untapped potential—but by no means dry or dull.



Jimmy Kendall is determined to reunite with his old flame and, he thinks, true love. But Rita, now a call girl with a string of unsavory clients, is not sure of her feelings. Kendall is determined to leave behind his prison past and soon discovers that the world into which the ex-con is thrust is no less confining than the walls of Pelican Bay.

ISBN: 1-4137-6938-1
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A year in the life of a young boy growing up in San Francisco in Catholic School. Set in the mid 20th century in one of the many vibrant and blue collar neighborhoods that once made up a big part of the city.

ISBN: 1-4241-3618-0
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