Created by Joe Gores (1931-2011)
NEAL FARGO's a hard-nosed San Francisco private eye, and non-practising attorney. He's also as cold and ruthless as they come, very much in the Hammett mold. He's also well-dressed, well-built, and, well, shady. As he puts it, "Clients pay me, but I work for myself."
Before making a living as a P.I., Neal was a pro football player and an officer in the Special Forces. A real sharpie, although he occasionally claims that maybe he's not quite as crooked as he makes out to be. After all, isn't there some sort of precedent for that among San Francisco P.I.s?
Neal made his debut in Interface (1974), a bleak, viscious, chilling novel which author Gores and a lot of other people consider his most accomplished novel. Certainly, Neal is no angel -- when we meet him, he's got a lucrative sideline dealing heroin, and spends much of the book -- despite the fact he's been hired to find a wealthy man's missing daughter -- tracking down his partner who's ripped off a considerable amount of drugs and money from him. It took Neal another seventeen years to make another appearance, in a short story in The Armchair Detective in 1991.
Joe Gores is a three-time Edgar winner, having nabbed awards for Best First Novel, Best Short Story and Best One-Hour Teleplay. A former private detective, he wrote the novel (and possibly contributed to the screenplay) for Wim Wenders film Hammett, a fictional account of his gero's life,and continued to write for television for many years, having contributed to Columbo, B.L. Stryker, Kojak, Magnum, P.I., Mike Hammer, and Remington Steele. He's also resonsible for creating private eyes Danny Durant and Bonecrack Krajewski, but he's best known for his highly-acclaimed DKA series.
-- the opening line in Interface
-- Jim Doherty
-- Duane Swierczynski, as part of The Rap Sheet's One Book Project
Some great private eyes who've appearred in only one novel.
Bad, Bad Eyes.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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