The Hanged Man
Reed Farrel Coleman; Shamus, Barry and Anthony Award winner:
Skibbins explores everything from the dark world of Bondage & Discipline to the high-tech world of computer security. These are among the most original characters in the annals of crime fiction.
Warren RitterEight of Swords (2005) High Priestess (2006)is certainly not a typical detective. On the lam after participating in radical politics and coping with bipolar disorder, he ekes out a living reading tarot cards on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue. When a daughter, Fran, whose existence was unknown to him, asks for help, he cannot refuse. Fran is separated from her husband, Orrin, a police officer who has taken their five-month-old son. Fran would like to get her child back, but Orrin will declare her an unsuitable parent if she tries. When Orrin turns up dead, Fran is the logical suspect, and Warren must rise to the occasion. With the help of his unconventional group of friends, which includes a former Black Panther, a biker psychiatrist, and his disabled computer-expert girlfriend, the tarot detective turns all the right cards. Skibbins' third mystery combines lots of action, a scene-stealing supporting cast, a well-constructed plot, and liberal doses of Bay Area atmosphere at its most quirky.
The great strength of Skibbins's second mystery is his unusual narrator, a '60s radical who's been hiding from the law under the alias Warren Ritter for 30 years.
Eight of Swords
NewMysteryReader.com- 3/2/05 (Karen Treanor):
David Skibbins deserves a hearty pat on the back for winning the St. Martin's 2004 Malice Domestic best first traditional mystery contest with this first in what I hope will be many adventures for "Warren Ritter". . . . You don't need to have lived through the 60's and 70's to appreciate this book, but if you did, you'll gain an extra layer of enjoyment.