Created by Alex Segura
Everything’s definitely not Archie in this one.
Alex Segura rocked the boat with his 2013 debut, Silent City, which introduced us to PETE FERNANDEZ, a man who seems to drag around his own personal dark cloud. When we first meet him, in Silent City (2013), he’s recently been shitcanned from his copywriting newspaper gig, dumped by his fiancée and then his dad drop dead. The booze isn’t helping too much either.
He staggers back to Miami, where a former colleague asks Pete to locate a missing reporter, despite the fact Pete has few investigative skills.
I know. Sounds preposterous, right?
But then, so did the premise to A Firing Offence (1992), George Pelecanos’ debut, which gave birth to Nick Stefanos.
Fortunately, like Nick, Pete is a surprisingly compelling lead; a dogged and determined investigator stumbling from drink to drink and clue to clue who may not always know what he’s doing, but certainly knows — or at least thinks he does — what he wants to do. (Also like Nick, Pete head is a whirling rock’nroll jukebox; in Pete’s case, full of 80s and 90s’ alternate and punk, everything from Nirvana to the Replacements).
Pete’s Miami (and life) is a tawdry, nasty nightmare far off the tourist track that somehow rings true every step of the way, and boy does Segura put him through the wringer. After trying to drink Miami dry in Silent City, he tries to sober up after his best friend dies in Down the Darkest Street, manages to piss off a Cuban gang in Dangerous Ends, and hooks up with a cult leader in Blackout, while seriously screwing up almost every relationship — personal, romantic and professional — he has. Oh, and Pete somehow managed to find some lost people and solve a few mysteries during all that. And hardly ever died at all, although not for lack of trying.
One of the more promising series of the 2010s, Pete definitely bears watching. He hits the sweet spot somewhere between Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder and several of Pelecanos’ troubled young men, and yet he feels completely fresh and original.
But don’t expect him to hang around too long — the author supposedly has it all mapped out. The fifth and final novel, Miami Midnight, in the series is set to drop sometime in 2019. How dark it will get remains to be seen, but based on the author’s track record, there’s gonna be a dark and mighty showdown.
Colour me impressed.
Born in Miami, Alex Segura is a rock’n’rolling comic book kinda guy, probably best known (at least before Pete) for his work for Archie Comics (Archie Meets Kiss, The Archies, etc.). He also performs regularly in New York as part of a local rock band, The Faulkner Detectives. He’s also the author of the acclaimed Secret Identity (2022),which introduces Carmen Valdez, a 1970s comic book writer who makes like a private eye when her partner is murdered. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two cats.
- “Silent City is a noir page-turner I couldn’t put down, a race through the Miami tourists don’t see. I loved the book, and can’t wait for the next one. Alex Segura is a writer to watch.”
— Sara Gran
- “Forget the neon lights. Forget the glitz. Forget the bikinis and mojitos. And get ready for the other side of Miami.”
- “Fernandez is a haunted figure, but never a cliché. His traumas and addictions are all his own, and in Blackout they seem to be all mixed up with Florida’s, too. This is a standout novel in a strong PI series from a notably fresh voice in the genre.”
— CrimeReads on Blackout (December 2018)
- “With the conclusion of Pete’s saga, fans will have a fully realized series at their disposal, and what a wonder that is.”
— Matthew Turbeville (BookRiot, April 2019)
- Silent City (2013) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Down the Darkest Street (2016) | Buy this book | Buy the audio | Kindle it!
- Dangerous Ends (2017) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Blackout (2018) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Miami Midnight (2019) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- “Shallow Grave” (May 2016; co-written with Dave White) | Kindle it!
Also featuring White’s Jackson Donne.