Jim Makin

Created by Floyd Mahannah (1911-76)

A bleak, mean little slice of noir, Floyd Mahannah's "Prognosis Negative" first appeared in the March 1953 issue of Manhunt, and is well worth tracking down.

JIM MAKIN is your typical rough and tough hard-boiled private eye of the era, with one notable exception: he's got an inoperable brain tumour, and he may not last the year. In his mind, that's "the same as dead."

So, what the fuck. He decides to go out in a blaze of glory by helping the young Mexican girlfriend of the local crime boss escape to Mexico, along with the sixty grand she swiped from him.

Mahannah isn't exactly a household name, even among fans of the genre, but "Prognosis Negative" is a hard, fast gem. Sadly, he only cranked out a half dozen or so books and a handful of short stories iin his career, but despite Bill Pronzini's claims in his intro to The Broken Angel/Backfire and Other Stories, a 2018 Mahannah collection, they do include several above-average standalone private eye (or private eyish) novels -- The Yellow Hearse, The Golden Goose and The Golden Widow. Check 'em out.


  • "Prognosis Negative" (March 1953, Manhunt)


  • The Broken Angel/Backfire and Other Stories (2018) ..Buy this book

A top-notch cleection, featuring a novel and a handful of short stories, including "Prognosis Negative."

Respectfully submitted by Dale Stoyer.

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