Disciple Manning
Created by R. Scott Bakker

"One man's dog is another woman's pig. I get that."
--
Disciple Manning, future spokesperson for NOW

As though being named DISCIPLE MANNING wasn't enough of a handicap, this Newark private eye is cursed with perfect memory.

Cool, right?

But it t'ain't necessarily so. As Manning puts it, "You wonder why I'm cynical. I've literally seen it all before. The truth is we all have, every single one of us past the age of, say, twenty-five. The only difference is that I remember."

There's a price to pay for total recall, you see. It seems you can't forget anything. Even if you want to. And it's left Disciple with a pretty dim view of not just humanity, but life itself. "We keep waiting for something Shakespearean to happen," he explains, but we end up with "the Jerry Springer Show. Squalid. Cheap. Mean-spirited."

Which also probably explains his disastrous relationships with women, his periodic substance abuse binges and occasional suicide attempts. Only pot-smoking, the task of journal-keeping that his latest therapist has foisted upon him and the slight chance that a case will expose him to something new that will actually challenge his "mangy capabilities" keep him from just turning out the big light.

So when Jonathan and Amanda Bonjour ask him to look into the disappearance of their missing daughter, Jennifer, who had recently journeyed to the small, one-horse town of Ruddick, Pennsylvania to join a doomsday cult, Disciple jumps at the chance. Not because he's heroic or noble or even because he gives a "fawk" but simply because it might not be boring -- and there might a sizeable fee. Drugs and bimbos don't come cheap, after all. And while Disciple may not always the most likable of human beings, there's something rather enjoyable about watching this self-destructive scuzzball square off against small town cops, assorted true believers, a slew of neo-Nazis, a sexy journalist who sniffs a career-changing story and the charismatic but possibly insane psychology professor turned cult leader. Toss in a few clever, pulpy plot twists, and Disciple's constant stream of occasionally nasty wisecracks, putdowns, wry observations and philosophical asides and you've got one of the more memorable P.I. characters of the last year. You might even say unforgettable.

NOVELS

RELATED LINKS

Preliminary report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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"...and I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk."