My Detective

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by Jeffrey Fleishman

Jeffrey Fleishman is not Raymond Chandler, but I’d make space for MY DETECTIVE on my bookshelf next to THE BIG SLEEP any day.

The detective of the title is Sam Carver, an LAPD detective.
The possessive “my” belongs to Dylan Cross, a talented architect and a serial killer.
On the opening pages, Dylan cuts the throat of architect Michael J. Gallagher on a seedy block in downtown L.A. She lets his body fall to the sidewalk and vanishes in the darkness.
“A murder’s a story with an end, but you have to find the beginning,” Carver tells Gallagher’s ex-wife.
This story is as much a romance as it is a murder investigation. Dylan spies on Carver as he goes to crime scenes. She’s hacked his computer and read his diary. She knows Carver’s memories and regrets as no one else in his life does. As Carver picks up clues and evidence, he begins to create a picture of Dylan — with more sympathy than cops usually give killers.
One of the things that separates Fleishman’s Carver from Chandler’s Philip Marlowe is that Carver, while still a loner, has the ability to connect and have relationships with others.
In Carver, Fleishman has created a wonderful character. He drives a battered late 1980s Porsche, lives in a renovated 1920s Italianate building catty-corner from the Biltmore Hotel, where the Black Dahlia was last seen alive in 1947. He drinks at a bar called the Little Easy. He stares from his windows at the pile of trash and treasures a homeless woman organizes across the street. From time to time, he brings her tea and Scotch, sometimes a $10 bill.
Fleishman has a great feel for L.A. His prose snaps with brisk vignettes that bring the city to life: the long lines at Egg Slut in the Grand Central Market, urine scented stairs leading up to the Water Court on Olive Street, the toy-like Angels Flight funicular running between Hill and Olive streets, and the liquid curves of Disney Hall.
The sequel to this book is LAST DANCE.

About the Author: Jeffrey Fleishman

Jeffrey Fleishman is foreign and national editor at the Los Angeles Times.  A longtime foreign correspondent, he served as bureau chief for the Times in Cairo and Berlin and was was based in Rome for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has covered wars in Iraq, Libya and Kosovo. He once climbed the Himalayas with a group of Buddhist monks escaping Chinese soldiers in Tibet.

In 2014, Fleishman returned from foreign assignments to come back to the United States to become a senior writer on film, art and culture for the Los Angeles Times. A 2002 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing.

He has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and a finalist for the Center for Public Integrity’s Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting. He has written two other novels: LAST DANCE, SHADOW MAN and PROMISED VIRGINS: A NOVEL OF JIHAD.


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