Pierce Duncan

Created by Joe Gores

PIERCE DUNCAN is the hero of Joe Gores’ Cases (1999), a sprawling vaguely autobiographical, picaresque standalone about a young man on the road in the fifties.

Freshly sprung from Notre Dame, Pierce has big plans to write his way across the States, on his way to his inevitable destiny as a San Francisco skiptracer under the guidance of seasoned pro Drinker Cope. It’s in the City by the Bay that the various pieces of this hard-boiled version of On the Road finally come together.

“I suspect that this one might be nominated for many awards,” sayid Keith Logan, my inside man at Montreal’s Nebula bookstore at the time, who gave me the heads up on this one.

Gores is, of course, simply one of the stone-cold masters of the P.I. form, creator of the iconic DKA series, and the classic P.I. novels Hammett (which became the 1983 cult film produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Wim Wenders) and Interface, among others. He received the Edgar Allen Poe Award in three separate categories: Best Novel, Best Short Story, and Best TV Series Segment. In addition, the DKA novel 32 Cadillacs and Come Morning were both nominated for Edgars for Best Mystery Novel.


  • “Though this autobiographical pipe dream has been gestating so long that parts of it were published in the long-dead Manhunt, Rogue, and Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine, it all seems as inevitable in retrospect as a Judas kiss.”
    — Kirkus Associates


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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