Cover image for All the lucky ones are dead : an Aaron Gunner mystery
All the lucky ones are dead : an Aaron Gunner mystery
Haywood, Gar Anthony.
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Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

Physical Description:
232 pages ; 24 cm
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"The flash and funk of L.A. is vivid, and the cast of characters quirky and memorable," raved Publishers Weekly of last year's When Last Seen Alive. In All the Lucky Ones Are Dead, PI Aaron Gunner comes face-to-face with rap music's power brokers and some bitter enemies from his past.Gangsta rap superstar C. E. Digga Jones killed himself, yet his father insists he was murdered. With a successful career and a beautiful wife, the Digga's life was picture perfect, but Gunner quickly learns that things aren't always as they seem. Gunner is also keeping tabs on Sparkle Johnson, an ultraconservative talk radio host. The two don't get along, but when a car bomb explodes, it's clear their mutual adversaries mean business.With a demanding caseload, and a silver car that's always two steps behind him, Aaron Gunner has his hands full in a top-notch addition to this stellar series.

Author Notes

Gar Anthony Haywood is the author of two highly acclaimed mystery series. His series featuring South Central Los Angeles private investigator Aaron Gunner debuted with the publication of Fear of the Dark , which won the St. Martin's Press/PWA Best Private Eye Novel Contest in 1987. The two succeeding novels in that series, Not Long For This World and You Can Die Trying , received wide praise. It's Not a Pretty Sight (G.P. Putnam's Sons; September 10, 1996) is the fourth book in the Gunner series. Haywood's second series features the comic Loudermilk family and includes the novels Going Nowhere Fast and Bad News Travels Fast .

Currently a writer for the FOX television series "New York Undercover," Haywood has also written for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times . He lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Haywood's Aaron Gunner is running neck and neck with Gary Phillips' Ian Monk in the race for best contemporary black detective in crime fiction. This sixth Gunner adventure finds the L.A. sleuth investigating death threats against an ultraconservative black talk-show host and looking into the apparent suicide of a rap star. What makes Gunner so likable is the way he rejects the party line no matter whose party has the floor. Whether he's challenging conservative Sparkle's motives or ridiculing a tough-talking rapper for his reliance on foul language, Gunner relishes exposing poseurs, politics be damned. Haywood's view of South Central L.A. goes beyond the gangsta stereotypes to reveal a community of ordinary people struggling with the dailiness of living. His canvas is wonderfully detailed, with vivid supporting characters--including the regulars at Lily's Acey Deuce Bar--and careful evocation of the neighborhood's sights and sounds. Haywood never shies away from a tough issue, either, whether it's black supremacy groups or homophobia in the black community, but his treatment of these issues never gets in the way of crisp, character-centered storytelling. This outstanding series deserves a much wider audience. --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

"There was a threshold beyond which an investigation became more about his own hunger for the truth than his client's, and somewhere over the last 48 hours, Gunner had stepped across it." Aaron Gunner, Haywood's gritty Los Angeles African-American PI, not only steps over that threshold, he carries the reader with him like an eager bride. Despite his always precarious finances, Gunner declines a job guarding a threatened African-American talk show host, Sparkle Johnson, because he doesn't agree with her right-wing views, and she doesn't want the protection her agent is trying to arrange. Gunner also doesn't care to investigate the death of Carlton William Elbridge, better known as rapper C.E. Digga Jones. Police have written off Eldridge's demise as suicide and only the deceased's father seems inclined to dispute the evidence. Despite his reluctance, Gunner is drawn into both cases, meeting up with an old nemesis, the Defenders of the Bloodline (When Last Seen Alive), and encountering what Haywood depicts as the brutish universe of gangsta rap. Haywood juices his compelling mystery with sharp dialogue, and Gunner's savvy intelligence makes it a pleasure to follow the PI through a maze of betrayals and greed. As Gunner navigates the meaner, deadlier streets of L.A., Haywood infuses the hard-boiled genre with renewed vigor. (Jan.) FYI: Haywood also writes the Joe and Dottie Loudermilk mysteries. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

L.A. private investigator Aaron Gunner (When Last Seen Alive) works two cases concurrently. In one, he investigates the apparent suicide of a successful rap artist. In the other, he watches over a threatened conservative talk-show host. Prime reading material. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.