Jack Walsh

Created by Ed Gorman (1941-2016)

Heartache spoken here.

Sixty-four years old, recently retired from the Sheriff's Office, JACK WALSH is an apartment house manager in Cedar Rapids, Iowa who does a little private eying on the side. He's also one of the most refreshingly down to earth eyes to come along in a while.

Gorman's work has always had a deep and heartfelt sense of compassion and abiding humanity to it, and if you ask me, The Night Remembers is his masterpiece, a quietly powerful gem of a novel, full of real people living real lives, trying to hang on to the little they have, and trying to live with real hurt. If this one doesn't move you, you just ain't human.

Make no mistake -- if you're looking for two-fisted, over-boiled rip-snorting action, you won't find it here. Jack's just not that kind of guy, and besides, Gorman's after much bigger game here. Jack's just a regular guy, concerned about his friends, trying to scrape by, doing the best he can. Just like all of us. He drives a 1978 Firebird and while he may carry a .38, but he's no hotshot hero. He's just a normal working joe, sensitive and caring, a widower trying to come to terms with a life without his beloved Sharon.

Not that his life is devoid of women, mind you. There's Irma, the recent widow of his ex-partner, who keeps trying to worm her way into Jack's business. Then there's Faith Hallahan, a 32-year old and the mother of Hoyt, who may or may not be Jack's eighteen-month old son. And then there's the wife of a man he put in jail years ago who hires Jack to prove her husband's innocence.

From what I've been able to sort out, Jack first appeared in Gorman's 1990 short story "Friends."

Author Gorman has created a few other P.I.s, most notably another midwestern Jack, Jack Dwyer. Gorman is also one of the better known editors of anthologies in the crime and mystery field, and co-founded, along with Robert J. Randisi, Mystery Scene Magazine. His fiction output also includes several westerns.

The Night Remembers has been re-issued a few times, including once wiith a brand new introduction by Bill Pronzini. Which is sort of appropriate, because supposedly Gorman originally wrote it as a tribute to Pronzini's Nameless series.


  • “Subtle, ironic, never flashy...The private eye here grows on you and so does Gorman.”

-- Booklist

  • "...a damn good novel by one of today's best crime fiction writers."

-- Bill Pronzini


  • "Friends" (1990, New Crimes 2)



The author's official web site.

Ed's blog. The url says new and improved, but Ed's still Ed. Which is why we love him.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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