Devil Barnett
Created by Teddy Hayes

DEVIL BARNETT isn't really a P.I., but he sure acts like one. He's a ex-CIA wet-ops agent who inherited his dad's Harlem bar. According to the overblown PR, he's "a modern day ronin, a highly skilled, highly trained street samurai who no longer fights for 'the company' but picks his own battles."

So, far, this "street samurai" has appeared in two novels, the second of which, Dead by Popular Demand (2005) shows vast improvement. Both have drawn lots of oft-repeated comparisons to Chester Himes, but except for the fact that Devil and the author are black, and it's set in Harlem, I'm just not buying it. A far more apt comparison, if you want to play the race card, might be to Austin Camacho's Hannibal Jones, another former government agent who's moved back to the "hood."

Except, of course, that Hayes, a magazine publisher, playwright and music producer now living in London, is a far more promising writer.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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