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Jack Hagee: No Free Lunch

Ratings:
297 pages4 hours

Summary

A young woman, lost in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, leads private eye Jack Hagee on an expedition into the heart of greed, vice and murder. Hired to find and rescue her — he must then decide if she’s worth saving.

In the bonus short story, “Bop Bop”, Hagee's pursuit of a murderous bail-jumper leads to a game of death.

Jack Hagee is a unique character in hardboiled fiction. Tall, tough, and honest, he constantly struggles against a dark and bitter world, consoled by his mantra, “every second of every day, everybody does exactly what they want.” Refusing to abandon his search for honorable human beings, he is still always prepared for the seemingly endless series of inevitable disappointments life brings his way.

Twenty years ago, The Drood Review called C.J. Henderson’s work, “high octane, hair-on-the -chest, dont-stop-for-a-breath storytelling: violent, unapologetic, and passionate.” They were not the only ones to praise him thusly. The Armchair Detective, Ellery Queen, Mystery Detective Monthly, Mean Streets, Locus and hundreds of venues like them, have praised Henderson as one of the greatest hardboiled writers of all time. They understood hardboiled is not a genre, but an attitude—one that involves viewing the world through a brutally honest lens and being unafraid to report what one sees. It is this unflinching attitude, coupled with an undeniably rhythmic style and sense of story-telling that caused New Mystery to write: “If, as some argue, the hardboiled private eye mystery story is a literary form on a par with the Japanese haiku or Irish ballad, then Mr. Henderson deserves the mantle of literary master.”

“Reading C.J. Henderson... hit me with the same case of discovery, surprise, semi-shock, and delight that knocked my socks off when I first read Raymond Chandler forty years ago.”
– Richard S. Prather, creator of Shell Scott

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