Gene Hammons

Created by Jon Talton

GENE HAMMONS used to be a soldier, serving in World War I. And he used to be a homicide cop in Phoenix, Arizona. But when he went against the powers that be and tried to free a woman he felt had been wrongfully accused of murdering a local big shot, he suddenly finds himself out on the street.

And none too popular with the local constabulary (with the possible exception of his brother, Don, also a homicide dick, who–despite a little drug problem–is still on the job) and maybe his police photographer girlfriend, Victoria Vasquez.

So Gene sets up shop as a private investigator, specializing in missing persons. Except that murder (of a particularly gruesome variety) seems determined to rear its ugly head, and he never was very good at looking the other way.

That’s the way it plays out City of Dark Corners (2021), the first in a proposed and promising debut, marked by a load of Depression era


Novelist Jon Talton is a fourth-generation Arizonan, and a former columnist for the Arizona Republic. He now lives in Seattle, where he is the economics columnist for the Seattle Times and writes the blog Rogue Columnist. He has another series, featuring David Mapstone, a modern day historian turned Phoenix gumshoe.


  • “References to movie actors and other celebrities of the day, as well as speakeasies and bootleggers, lend atmosphere to this well-crafted tale involving desperate people who could easily disappear. Hopefully, Hammons, a man of too much integrity for his own good, will be back soon.”
    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Talton shines in weaving together the mystery elements of the plots with historical events from the Prohibition period. Fast-paced, gritty, and exciting, this one will have fans of both Depression-era and southwestern-set crime fiction begging for more!”
    — Booklist


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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