GOLDEN GATE MYSTERIES: A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CRIME FICTION
SET IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
Created by Peter Gessner
WALKER (thats it, just Walker) is a middle-aged, transplanted New Yorker working as a private investigator in San Francisco. Hes been in the city for over thirty years and has a rent-controlled apartment on Telegraph Hill with a million-dollar view, a British racing green 1956 MG, a high-maintenance girlfriend, and a lovesick Indonesian fighting fish named Archie (after Nero Wolfes sidekick). He works alone, knows how to conduct a stakeout—he always makes sure to take an empty bottle along so he doesnt have to leave his car to find a toilet—and gets most of his cases from a local criminal defense attorney.
In his debut, The Big Hello and the Long Goodbye, Walker is working two unrelated cases. One involves a 15-year old Palestinian-American boy who shoots his sister in an apparent honor killing after she refuses to stop dating a flashy Hispanic man. The other is a missing persons case involving an eccentric, brilliant mathematician who may or may not be planning an act of terror. The cases converge when Walker gets some unlikely help from a beautiful Israeli nurse-turned-drug-addict-turned-stripper (now, theres a combination you dont see every day).
This is the first novel by Peter Gessner, a licensed private investigator based in San Francisco (who also shares several other characteristics with his fictional protagonist), and the first in a projected series. He writes convincingly about his city and the Bay Area, effortlessly moving his characters from Nob Hill to the Mission District, from the Embarcadero to a Market Street strip club, from Daly City to Berkeley.
- In a postscript, the author provides some insight into his characters name: If this detective is graced with a first name, we do not know it. This is, in part, a tribute to a similarly named lone protagonist played by actor Lee Marvin in John Boormans classic 1967 film, Point Blank. The two Walkers share one additional characteristic: a desire for justice in a flawed world tempered by a fierce desires to see things through to the end, whatever the cost.
- The Big Hello and the Long Goodbye (2007)
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