The setting is Denver, 1976. Joe Reddman, private investigator with the ethic of an Indian, returns. A brutal, headline-grabbing murder has occurred, and Brandy Winters gives Joe a tip that could break the case. But Joe can’t reveal his source because Brandy thinks it was done by his friend, Arnie Jack. In the search for the truth, Joe meets Jessica Dorn.
Arnie is a stockbroker, Brandy plays the piano and sings, and Jessica–now a waitress–had been a go-go dancer when she first came to town. She is also fascinated by the legends of early Colorado. At an old mining camp on the south slope of Pikes Peak, she hears the story of the gambler, the minstrel, and the dance hall queen–a tale of love, a sack of gold, and murder.
Inexplicably, the legend begins to repeat: with Arnie as the gambler, Brandy as the minstrel, and Jessica as the dance hall queen. This is a novel that needs Colorado as a back-drop, where incredible–but fragile–beauty is threatened by the forces of greed.
The Player, the first Joe Reddman book, brought rave reviews, such as this one from the New York Times Book Review: “A smooth writing style, a fine story-telling ability, and a bang-up climax.” From the Miami Herald: “Truly first-rate . . . Downing deftly manages an exciting mishmash of detection, action, and nostalgia for forgotten times . . . The Player is as delightful as finding a twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk.” This second Reddman book is better. According to Tony Hillerman, “Joe Reddman makes you think of Travis McGee if he had been created by Raymond Chandler.”
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