by Joseph Hansen
Published by Harrap, London
186 pgs. • find on Amazon.com
Paperback ISBN: 1555835511
(from the Jacket Cover of the first British edition)
Dave Brandstetter, insurance claims investigator hero of Fadeout — welcomed by The Times as “a homosexual without hysteria” — is back in Hansen’s new thriller Death Claims.
Hansen’s story is once again about Southern California and the people who live there. They include John Oates and his embryonic-actor son Peter; April Stannard, who lives with them; Wade Cochran, movie star famous for his impeccable morals; and a cop called Jesus-Maria Campos.
Oats Senior’s scarred and drugged body is found washed up on the beach after a night of storm — a happening worth $20,000 to his son who should benefit from the insurance money. But Peter Oates is missing?
Brandstetter’s business is to sift behind the obvious, to find the truth behind the elaborate fabrications, to put together facts which seem hopelessly adrift. His style is a unique combination of aggressiveness, decisiveness, imagination, and an unrelaxing awareness that he is dealing with people — alive, hurt and frightened.
Brandstetter’s own love affair, with Doug Sawyer, is sensitively and relevantly treated by a writer whose originality and skill has been hailed by reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
1973: also published by Harper & Rowe, NY