Books by Timothy Hallinan

NIGHTTOWN  by Timothy Hallinan
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"Highly readable but relatively weightless, as if Hallinan (Fools' River, 2017, etc.) had padded a short story out to novel length by spinning loop after agreeable loop of his hero's woolly asides, reflections, and professional apothegms."
Junior Bender, everybody's go-to burglar in LA, takes on another job that doesn't smell right—it fairly reeks of talcum powder—and lives to regret it early and often. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 2016

"A plum pudding stuffed with cynical disillusionment, organized and disorganized crime, two Santas, a seasonal miracle, and an ending that earns every bit of its uplift."
An unexpectedly rich Christmas gift: the chance to spend the holidays in a fading suburban Los Angeles shopping mall with Junior Bender, the burglar who moonlights as a "detective for crooks." Read full book review >
KING MAYBE by Timothy Hallinan
Released: April 12, 2016

"Junior's sixth sense keeps warning him that he's being set up, and it's on the money every single time. Fans who don't mind his ritualistically repeated failures will eat up his adventures among Hollywood types whose moral senses are even more primitive than his."
This fifth larcenous adventure for Junior Bender (Herbie's Game, 2014, etc.) is aptly described in the closing Author's Note as "a show-business book that [is] essentially all burglaries. Plus Suley."Read full book review >
FOR THE DEAD by Timothy Hallinan
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"'You can't live for the dead,' Rafferty keeps getting reminded. His latest adventure is a compelling demonstration of just how untrue that is and a stirring account of his strenuous attempts to live for the living."
The human vermin who infest Bangkok inch ever closer to travel writer Poke Rafferty's growing family. Read full book review >
HERBIE'S GAME by Timothy Hallinan
Released: July 15, 2014

"As usual, Hallinan devotes such loving attention to a host of minor characters, all framed by Junior's deadpan narrative, that the whodunit is the least important ingredient in this shaggy, overstuffed caper."
When a crook is burgled, it's not a good day for anybody. Read full book review >
LITTLE ELVISES by Timothy Hallinan
Released: Jan. 29, 2013

"Versatile Hallinan (The Fear Artist, 2012, etc.) provides a wealth of seamy types, past and present, and a thousand hard-boiled similes for his second-string Philip Marlowe."
In Hallinan's Los Angeles, where everyone leans on everyone else, investigator/thief Junior Bender gets leaned on good. Read full book review >
THE FEAR ARTIST by Timothy Hallinan
Released: July 17, 2012

"As usual (The Queen of Patpong, 2010, etc.), the real star of the show is the hero's hometown. As Rafferty observes, 'Bangkok may not be glamorous…but it's got lurid down cold.'"
A dead man who crumples onto his lap pulls travel writer Poke Rafferty once more down into Bangkok's dank underbelly. Read full book review >
THE QUEEN OF PATPONG by Timothy Hallinan
Released: Aug. 17, 2010

"Hallinan's unlikely hero shines in this sometimes funny, always engrossing and undeniably authentic story that explores a dark and fascinating side of Thailand."
Hallinan (Breathing Water, 2009, etc.) takes his Poke Rafferty series to the next level with this taut, offbeat and fast-moving thriller that focuses on Bangkok's red-light district and sex trade. Read full book review >
BREATHING WATER by Timothy Hallinan
Released: Aug. 18, 2009

"Never lags for intrigue as it interweaves the lives of Thai street children with a tale of political power gone bad."
Half Filipino, half-American travel writer and unlikely action hero Poke Rafferty (The Fourth Watcher, 2008, etc.) once again gives in to his penchant for finding trouble on the streets of Bangkok. Read full book review >
THE FOURTH WATCHER by Timothy Hallinan
Released: July 1, 2008

"Although not quite as compelling as the first Rafferty outing, this book features an unlikely but likable hero and provides readers with an informed glimpse into a world they are not likely to otherwise experience."
Hallinan (A Nail Through the Heart, 2007, etc.) returns with another thriller featuring the Bangkok-based ex-pat with a penchant for landing himself on the business end of a gun. Read full book review >
A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART by Timothy Hallinan
Released: July 1, 2007

"Dark, often funny and ultimately enthralling."
Mystery writer Hallinan (The Bone Polisher, 1995, etc.) scores big-time with a fast-moving thriller set in Thailand. Read full book review >
THE BONE POLISHER by Timothy Hallinan
Released: April 1, 1995

Long-retired actor Max Grover can see the future of each of the young men he takes in off the streets, but he has no idea that his own future will be violent and brief. Hours after Max's latest (or is it next-to-latest?) protÇgÇ, AIDS-stricken Christopher Nordine, persuades LA shamus Simeon Grist (The Man with No Time, 1993, etc.) to have a talk with Max, somebody else drives out to Max's place, and—well, you don't want to hear about the rest of it, except that the killer, who's gone through this routine five times before, ends up thoughtfully mailing a pile of luridly revealing documents back to Max's old buddies in Boulder, accompanied by his severed finger. The search is then on, of course, for the methodical, demented killer Simeon calls ``Farm Boy'' because he seems be working out of a lair in the Kansas prairie. But since Sgt. Ike Spurrier, the homophobe assigned to Max's murder, is so emphatic about Simeon's staying out of the case, Simeon's forced to work the edges—from searching Max's place half a step behind Farm Boy to getting Max's sadistic ex-agent Ferris Hanks to host the wildest wake you've ever seen—and very dangerous edges they are. Simeon's sixth case is as stylishly rough-hewn as ever, and as aglitter with unearthly vignettes—from a wedding on the police firing range to a visit with a little girl who's been watching entirely too much TV. Read full book review >
A MAN WITH NO TIME by Timothy Hallinan
Released: July 22, 1993

Hard-boiled Simeon Grist (Incinerator, etc.) now rushes in to help longtime love Eleanor Chan when her niece and nephew are kidnapped for what seem (to Grist) inscrutable Chinese reasons—but clearly the Chan family knows something and clearly it involves Uncle Lo, also missing. As Grist searches for the kids, he bumps into two separate illegal alien stories: one concerning Uncle Lo and aged Esther Summerson, a retired missionary; the other concerning work slaves indentured to the likes of sadist Charlie Wah. The kids are returned, but Grist has to find their dad, Horace, who's gone in search of Uncle Lo, thereby putting both himself and Grist in the path of various Chinese protection societies and Vietnamese thugs and Thai prostitutes. To break up the various slave rings, Grist puts together a black gang and, with split-second derring-do, waylays payoffs to the Chinese, liberates the slaves, and overcomes a spot of torture meant to cripple him. Memorable for a baby-faced Vietnamese assassin, a dateless teenager, a gruesome double murder, and Hallinan's droll depiction of the Asian communities warring in California. If you can handle the rough stuff: a lippy, fast-paced read. Read full book review >
INCINERATOR by Timothy Hallinan
Released: March 22, 1992

The fourth Simeon Grist p.i. mystery (Skin Deep, etc.), which would be little more than routine were it not for the esoteric fire references bandied about by the torcher of Skid Row derelicts who's known to the police as ``the Crisper'' (though he himself prefers the name ``Incinerator''). Simeon enters into the serial murders when one of the victims turns out to be a lost, disoriented millionaire suffering from Alzheimer's, and when his daughter announces to the press that she's hired Grist to find out who killed him. The trail leads to the library and to a tall thin, blond man with a clubfoot who drives a Mazda and wears a black rubber raincoat. And, as it happens, was in love with Grist's sometime lover Eleanor Chan at college, which explains why the Incinerator keeps taunting Simeon with clue-filled notes. Eventually the two meet up at L.A.'s Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where the Haunted House and the Toy Railroad hold more than their share of corpses—and matches. Shallow psychoanalyzing and sketchy plotting, but those fire references will tweak the synapses. Otherwise: just one more serial killer. Read full book review >
SKIN DEEP by Timothy Hallinan
Released: April 29, 1991

Third in the lippy, seamy-side-of-L.A. series featuring p.i. Simeon Grist (Everything but the Squeal, The Four Last Things), now hired to keep TV adventure hero Toby Vane's real life from making the papers-or the police blotter: Toby like to beat up nude dancers. When one dies, Grist's job takes on a new dimension: find out who pulverized her. Among the possibilities are the mammoth Tiny, manager of the club where the first victim- and then the second-dance; the coked-up girls (Cinnamon, Chili, Pepper, et al.); Nana, the Korean beauty saved from a bar-beating at Toby's hands; assorted TV nabobs, including Dixie, who neglects to mention that his own daughter was one of Toby's victims. With side trips to aroma-therapy boutiques, S&M premises, and apartments with wall-to-wall coke caches, Grist finally sorts through the murders-and engineers a final blackmail setup. Gutsy, vibrant language and narrative drive, for a sharp noir L.A. portrait, but women may find the subject exploitive. Read full book review >