Created by Daniel Hearn
JOE NOONAN (né Giovanni Alberto Noonan) is an ex-cop and Vietnam vet turned Big Apple baby-boomer gumshoe, low-rent division, in his mid-thirties, wondering where it all went. His newest suit is forty years out of style, he shares his rundown fifth floor walkup railroad flat on the Lower East side with Lord Nelson, a one-eyed alleycat, and he works out of a "lowly and foul...pigeon coop of an office in Chelsea...just off Seventh Avenue with a nice big dirty window with a view of Seventeenth Street." He smokes, he drinks, he mopes. And thanks to a war injury, he's in constant pain (shades of Harry O!). Not the most happy-go-lucky of guys, Joe admits he "doesn't have a way with people."
Always something of a misfit and a loner, Joe spent two years in college in the sixties trying to fit in with the demonstrators and the hippies. Next he tried Vietnam, working CID, but all he got for that was a bullet in the spine and a lifelong friendship with Richie Everly, who runs a fairly successful security service, and still regularly tries to help Joe out..
Anyway, upon his return Stateside, Joe joined the NYPD, and married Eunice, a nurse. They had two kids, but neither the law nor the marriage lasted more than a couple of years (he dumped the job, Eunice dumped him). And so, Joe hit the skids, eventually landing a job as a private dick, working as a peeper for an agency specializing in divorce. He also did a "long, boring stretch" with the Pinkertons before finally getting his own ticket.
"I wasn't worried -- I had my own business. I'd work on the cases I chose, I'd restore my self-respect and help my fellow man at the same time---it seemed like a good plan."
Pretty optimistic for a guy who hasn't exactly set the world on fire. he relies on the handful of cases that come his way, andf the occasional bone Richie throws hid way. In fact, Richie keeps offering Joe a full-time gig, but so far, Joe's managed to resist.
Yeah, most of this territory's been covered a few zillion times, but Joe's nontheless an intriguing character. A solid series.