Joey Sapphire
Created by John Lawrence

JOEY SAPPHIRE is yet another of John Lawrence's Big Apple-based eye. He only made one appearance, as far as I can tell, in the long-defunct pulp magazine New Detective, but it was an impressive, over-the-top debut. As Francis M. Nevins says in the Winter 1992 issue of The Armchair Detective, "I can't think of a single P.I. in fiction who plays as dirty as this one."

Yep, on the outside, Joey appears to be a well-dressed, if rather short gent, but don't let his looks deceive you. He's about as cold-blooded, ruthless and corrupt as you can get. He plays hard, and he plays dirty, and he doesn't care who gets hurt, or even riddled with bullets. It's just not a nice world Joey lives in.

In "Body in Waiting," he's trying to track down the murderer of fellow gumshoe and pal Danny Dean. Along the way, Joey has his hand cooked on an electric stove by two goons and he himself sets up an innocent man to be murdered. And somewhere in there, he finds the time to rip the lid off nearby Danvers City. Allin a day's work, right? And it's all told in Lawrence's typical overblown, overwrought, over-boiled prose style, full of crooked heroes, fierce gun battles, and plot holes as big as all git out.

If that sounds like heaven to you, be sure to check out Lawrence's other pulp heroes, like P.I.s Cass Blue or Sam Beckett. Or, if that isn't enough, dig up his most famous series characters, those lovable boys in blue, The Broadway Squad, the most crooked, nasty, violent band of thugs ever to pin on a badge.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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