Created by Brad Lang
Imagine a hipper, younger Jim Rockford. Less political than Moses Wine; less Hefneresque than Goulart's John Easy.
FRED CROCKETT is the young hip, swinging, long-haired and very 70s-era dick in this short-lived (three paperback) Male Action Adventure series by Leisure.
When we first meet him, he's 28, and has been in the P.I. racket for six years, working in a thinly disguised college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, which allows him plenty of contact with the troubled kids that populate the books.
Fred had a few rough spots in his youth himself, referring to being a runaway at one point, but somehow he hung in there and scored has an undergraduate degree in Political Science, and was, for a while, a police officer, before eventually earning a master's degree in Criminal Science.
Never really a team player, he soon left the police department to hang out his own shingle in an old musty building. his tiny office sports some battered furniture, a poster of the Rolling Stones and an answering machine.
He's no hippie, although he does smoke pot on occasion. But he does plenty of more typical things for a private eye of that era: he carries a .38 in a shoulder holster, drives the obligatory muscle car (in his case, a 1971 Pontiac GTO), hangs out at a local bar with plenty of colourful characters, and lives alone.
"I came up with the idea of a tough detective who was a former hippie AND an ex-cop," says the author. "Yes, it was a stretch, but I wanted a character who was a liberal and a tough guy, too. After two years of writing and then searching for a publisher, Crockett was finally born in 1976."
"My books pretty much came and went without much of a ripple," admits Lang. "Leisure Books was known for Male Action Adventure, but because there was an editor there who liked my stuff, they published it even though the books weren't their usual cup of tea. No Mafia hit men or international spies or blood and gore. More a kind of poor man's Raymond Chandler. Maybe that's why they dropped the series after three books!"
Lang maintains a web site called Classic Movies.org. He's works as a freelance writer and web designer, and is also the man behind Hardboiled Heaven.
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