Frank Ignatius August
Created by C.E. Poverman
San Francisco P.I. FRANCIS IGNATIUS "FRANK" AUGUST's father fought in WWII and then had a general law practice. The oldest of several brothers and one sister, Frank was raised in Albuquerque, a good Catholic who attended St. John Prep School. He was a guard on the high school basketball team. After his father died, Frank attended New Mexico State, while working as a chef and a house painter. Frank married Karen Bainbridge, a photographer and video artist, Los Alamos, while he was working at Old Pueblo Lodge. They met and married in the three weeks while she was visiting the Southwest from Boston. Frank finished law school five years ago, but he still needs to pass the California Bar Exam, at the beginning of his debut, 1997's On The Edge. In the interim, a mentor in the Public Defender's Office has found him work with P. I. Murray Axelrod, but Frank's since gone solo, forming August and Associates (it's actually only one associate, John Giordano, and an office manager, Gloria).
Frank has tight curly blonde hair, is 6'3" and has green eyes. Now divorced, he lives alone in a Victorian with two cats, and drives an old car, a mauve 1970 Cadillac. He's just quit smoking, but is probably an alcoholic and an occasional drug user. Frank carries a Glock 17 and a .44 revolver.
In On The Edge, Frank's dealer friend Ray Buchanan has been busted by the DEA and has asked him to find out who ratted out the deal. It seems to connect to the year old murder of Ritchie Davis, a dealer dumb enough to leave names on a computer disc that the DEA might be able to read.
For mystery readers who will not stray from straight mysteries, there may not be enough to keep their interest early in this book. But for daring readers of crime fiction who also enjoy reading the styles exhibited in contemporary fiction, this is a must read. Poverman has managed to capture the essence of both styles and amalgamated a solid work. The book moves slowly, explores characters, and deals with moods.
Yet the people who are displayed in it are the same struggling lowlifes and minor players that a Westlake, Connelly, or Block might use in a more traditional caper style, and Poverman is so much more successful than the recent effort by Herbert Gold to do the same thing. Poverman has written novels prior to this effort, and the skills he has developed in those efforts show here. If mystery readers stay around for the whole ride, they will be entirely satisfied with Poverman's talent. Highly recommended.
Contributed by Gary Warren Niebuhr.
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