John Rockne (Grosse Pointe Pulp)

Created by Dan Ames

Once a rookie cop in the well-to-do Detroit enclave of Grosse Pointe, on the shores of Like Michigan, JOHN ROCKNE was kicked off the force after he screwed up big time, making a fatal error in judgement which lead to the brutal murder of a young man. Six years later, he’s working as a private eye the same suburb, but it still eats at him (and his sister being chief of police doesn’t help).

As Rockne puts it, “the scorn heaped upon me externally was insignificant to the shameful burden I carried internally for the painful, bitter years that followed.”

So, yeah, there’s that.

The author gets a few points for sidestepping a few of hard-boiled clichés, making Rockne a more-or-less steady family man, with a wife and daughters, and not marinating him in booze, bimbos and desperation. But he loses the same points because the books, while fast-moving, are also obviously quickly written, and poorly edited.

But what do I know? The books, all self-published, have attracted some decent blurbs, if not particularly stellar reviews, and the author, Dan Ames, is an “international bestselling novelist,” churning out pulp novelettes at a blistering and apparently lucrative pace (he seems to have an endless number of series going on), but is probably best known for The Jack Reacher Cases, about former FBI agent turned private eye, Lauren Pauling, who keeps showing up in the footsteps of Jack Reacher, apparently with the permission of Lee Child. That went well, so now Amas has a second series, The Special Investigators, also set in the Reacher universe.

But have no fear–Ames also milks his own stuff down to the last drop–hoping to spin off the Rockne books, teaming him up with Los Angeles private eye Mary Cooper. So far, though, the Cooper and Rockne series has stalled at one book, 2016’s Killer Groove.

But just in case, he has another series as well–the Pin-up Mysteries, featuring private eye Jake Palmer.


  • Dead Wood is a fast-paced, unpredictable mystery with an engaging
    narrator and a rich cast of original supporting characters.”
    — Thomas Perry



  • Grosse Pointe Pulp (2016) Kindle it!
    The obligatory digital collection, rounding up the first three novels, Dead WoodHard Rock and Cold Jade.
  • Grosse Pointe Pulp 2 (2016) Kindle it!
    Includes the second three novels, Long Shot, Easy Prey, and Body Blow.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply