Books by Dick Lochte

Released: March 1, 2012

"Lochte (The Talk Show Murders, 2011, etc.) is just as fast-paced and funny flying solo as when he's wingman for Al Roker or Christopher Darden, both of whom he's collaborated with in the past. "
Ex-con Dave "Mace" Mason gets way more than he bargained for when he agrees to shadow his old friend Paulie Lacotta's ex-girlfriend. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 6, 2011

"Despite its over-the-top finale, Roker and Lochte's third is as well-paced and thoughtfully prepared as an Alice Waters tasting menu."
A celebrity chef lands in someone's crosshairs after an appearance on a daytime talk show. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 23, 2010

"Although Billy may be too good to be true, Roker and Lochte offer a satisfying entrée to follow the appetizer they provided in The Morning Show Murders (2009)."
A TV chef shifts both time slot and venue when his network sends him for a late-night stint in Hollywood. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"Crackling dialogue and well-crafted settings lift Roker's initial collaboration with veteran Lochte (Croaked!, 2007, etc.) above the typical celeb roman-à-clef."
NBC's Today Show weather anchor debuts with a crisp puzzler played out on and off the set of an early-morning news show. Read full book review >
CROAKED! by Dick Lochte
Released: April 18, 2007

"Unshackled from O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden after three collaborations (The Last Defense, 2002, etc.), Lochte serves up a giddy romp that's not always coherent, but never dull."
It's the Swinging '60s, and at the nation's number-two skin mag, someone is busily filling body bags. Read full book review >
THE LAST DEFENSE by Christopher Darden
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Riddled with knowing banalities ('In most cases, D.A.'s and defense lawyers choose different kinds of jurors') and bad prose: hackwork unredeemed by occasional bursts of courtroom energy."
Hotshot lawyer Mercer Early, the putative hero of this third collusion between Darden and Lochte (L.A. Justice, 2001, etc.), wouldn't recognize a legal principle if it were labeled as such and personally delivered by Thurgood Marshall. What Mercer—black, bright, and ethically challenged—does recognize is the path to partnership at prestigious Carter & Hansborough, a path he's following lickety-split as this courtroom drama opens. On behalf of a drug-dealing lowlife, he uses a doctored tape to discredit a key witness. Mercer's client walks, but not far: he's offed that very night. Indicted for the crime is LAPD Detective Claude Burris, the selfsame key witness discredited by Mercer. Along with virtually everyone else, Mercer thinks Burris guilty, but his belief becomes irrelevant when Burris's girlfriend, armed to the teeth with a Mercer indiscretion, cows him by demanding: Defend my boyfriend, or I'll ventilate your checkered past. So here's the made-for-daytime-TV situation: a white cop with a black lover, on trial for killing a black drug dealer, is represented, under duress, by a black lawyer. Carter & Hansborough, as morally myopic as its star litigator, wrings every single set of its hands at this scenario until certain political advantages become evident. Hand-wringing stops, bullets fly, blood flows, bodies fall, Mercer triumphs, readers yawn. Read full book review >
L.A. JUSTICE by Christopher Darden
Released: Jan. 8, 2001

"The courtroom scenes are authoritative, of course, and as for the rest, no one can accuse Darden-Lochte of just going through the motions."
With Lochte (The Neon Smile, 1995, etc.) once more serving as copilot, O.J. prosecutor turned so-so novelist Darden (The Trials of Nikki Hill, 1999) does better in his second fictional effort. Read full book review >
LUCKY DOG by Dick Lochte
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

" Best of all, though, is 'Mad Dog,' in which Leo and a bunch of other Hollywood types are tricked onto a radio talk program so that, all unwilling, they can solve a 30-year-old murder on the air. It's a classic illustration of how, put under pressure, conversation becomes drama."
L.A. shamus Leo Bloodworth (Sleeping Dog, 1985, etc.) walks off with both best-of-show and worst-of-same honors in the competition among the nine stories (1988-99) collected here. In the title story and "Rappin' Dog," he's teamed with high-school prodigy Serendipity Dahlquist, the least convincing sidekick in hard-boiled history, whose incongruously wide-eyed narration of "Mr. Bloodworth's" adventures constantly distracts the eye from the kid's sleight-of-mind. Nor do a pair of tales-for-hire, the warmed-over Philip Marlowe pastiche "Sad-Eyed Blonde" and the retro Hollywood Dracula-has-risen-again "Vampire Dreams," inspire much more confidence in Lochte's handling of voice. But things look up when the scene shifts to New Orleans. In the deft, ironic anecdote "A Tough Case to Figure," Leo, in a nifty walk-on, is upstaged by an even slyer cameo by local p.i. Terry Manion (The Neon Smile, 1995, etc.). Manion gets a meatier case of his own in "Get the Message," a straightforward whodunit as intricately clued as vintage Ellery Queen. And Lochte's gift for palming the evidence without tipping off wary readers saves "Murder at Mardi Gras" and "A Murder of Import," a pair of talkathons in which Manion's mentor J.J. Legendre shares the limelight with too many suspects to keep in your head without a diagram. Read full book review >
THE TRIALS OF NIKKI HILL by Christopher Darden
Released: March 17, 1999

O.J. Simpson assistant prosecutor Darden teams up with suspense writer Lochte (The Neon Smile, 1995, etc.) for this earnest, shapeless tale of—what else?—a stand-up deputy D.A. fighting for truth and justice in the jungles of Los Angeles. When the D.A.'s office finds the diamond ring that lately graced the finger of TV interviewer/gossip columnist Maddie Gray in the pocket of Jamal Deschamps, the South Central homeboy found fleeing from the alley where Maddie's nude body has been dumped, they waste no time prosecuting the bejesus out of him. Nikki Hill, the deputy D.A. who's just been recalled from a slow-death posting out in Compton, has a bad feeling about this case, but her boss, D.A. Joe Walden, orders a full-court press, and the race is on between the prosecutors and Jesse Fallon, the high-powered attorney who takes over Jamal's defense. In no time, Jamal's proved an alibi, and Walden & Co. are back to go. Wilting under the hostile TV lights, Walden demands another arrest, and the lucky number goes to Dyana Cooper Willins, a movie star married to a top music CEO. Even though there's solid evidence that Dyana attacked Maddie (in self-defense? in an attempt to wrestle her blackmail folder away from the blackmailer?) with something an awful lot like the murder weapon, the stakes for two potentially wrongful prosecutions of African-Americans in the City of Angels are enormous. Darden and Lochte powerfully convey the desperation of a D.A.'s office under pressure to do something without any clear idea of what the something should be, and the infighting among prosecutors, politicians, and the police that hamstring the investigation. What they don't do is bring any order to the investigation, or create characters—except for Nikki, your standard Wonder Woman with a troubled background—who stay in the memory longer than a news story. The result is an ant farm full of bustling but anonymous movement, a sociological primer that would take the skills of Tom Wolfe to turn it into a novel. "Trials" is right. Read full book review >
THE NEON SMILE by Dick Lochte
Released: April 1, 1995

Exploitation TV has finally caught up with Tyrone Pano—the ``Panther Man'' of New Orleans civil rights who, 30 years ago, killed himself after being jailed for shooting Lillian Davis, his follower in the League for Black Advancement. Now, p.i. Terry Manion (Blue Bayou, 1992) has been hired by the producers of Crime Busters to reopen the case. An extended flashback to 1965 follows Manion's late mentor, J.J. Legendre, the officer who arrested Pano, as he tracks the gruesome serial killer (an aptly dubbed ``Meddler'') whose case crisscrosses Pano's in all sorts of disturbing ways; hears the report of Pano's convenient suicide in his cell; and moves toward a dramatic shootout with the Meddler that will put paid to everybody's doubts but his own. Then it's back to the present for a dizzying check with the surviving cast—J.J.'s girlfriend, damsel-in-distress turned star prosecutor; his partner, now dying of AIDS; a League thug raking in the dollars on the evangelical circuit—before Manion closes the case again for good. Lochte is no James Sallis, but he knows how to pile on the old New Orleans smoke, shadows, crumbling houses, subplots, grotesque walk-ons, and rodents. Serve with an Alka-Seltzer chaser. Read full book review >
BLUE BAYOU by Dick Lochte
Released: July 1, 1992

Inspired looniness from veteran L.A. book/theater critic Lochte (Sleeping Dog, Laughing Dog), who now releases Big Easy p.i. Terry Manion from a rehab clinic to learn that his former mentor, J.J. Legendre, has committed suicide—a fact disputed by the former madam and current security agency head Nadia Wells, a Mammy Yokum tough friend of both Manion and J.J.'s. To avenge J.J., Manion runs afoul of the dreaded Bennedettos, Crawfish and Reevie; a contract killer (``Croaker''); an old schoolmate and semi-crooked cop, Eben Munn (and his luscious sister who plays decoy for—and footsie with—Manion); and assorted members of the tony Gaymaude family, including a coke-addled widow, an illegitimate son, and a besieged paterfamilias. Also lurking about are senators on the take and bribed cops galore. Many imaginative deaths later, and after innumerable car chases, zydeco refrains, indecipherable Cajun threats, and father-son double-crosses, Manion understands who died how, by whom, and why so many bodies featured a suicide note in the words of novelist Marcus Steiner. A darkly comedic New Orleans primer—with the food, music, and heat interrupted by bullets. Eccentric characters, rococo plot, and a fast, furious read. Read full book review >