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Calling upon his considerable novelistic skills Loren D Estleman exposes the black heart of a seemingly stable well run city suddenly pitched into violence and chaos A delicate balance of forces—greed and  corruption ambition and desire—run out of control in the wake of a serial killer's grisly rampage A power struggle—between a police chief who has looked the other way for too long a Mafia boss who holds the city's vices in his powerful grasp and media reporters looking for a big story—turns what has been a minor dispute into a desperate struggle for survival Setting this drama in a blue collar metropolis dominated by an oil company Estleman with an unerring eye for telling detail and an ear for dialogue that reveals the secret desires of his characters crafts a fascinating deadly tapestry of love ambition revenge and redemption a stunning portrait of the human condition


10 thoughts on “Gas City

  1. says:

    I'm a bit on the fence about this one since it was very moody a mood piece not just a mystery thriller That means a lot of words threads that didn't connect to the story directly Not my favorite but this was pretty well done for that The ending came up slapped me in the face though We're cruising along slowly then it was as if we took a lap around a race track before hitting a brick wall THE END Yeah caps WhewI liked Estleman's short fiction better but I'll still recommend this Excellent characters an interesting plot for sure The delivery wasn't really my cup of tea though


  2. says:

    I tried I got to part 3 and just couldn't read any No offense just not my cup of tea


  3. says:

    Although this was well read by Mel Foster the source material developed too slowly was largely uninteresting and seemed to be pointless Okay I get it The city was corrupt The movers and shakers are unlikable thugs to include the clergy The serial killer story which is where the bulk of this novel should have been focused was only a shallow sidebar with a dissatisfying nearly head scratching revelation Even the bookends the opening and closing bits were senseless and only tangential to the main story whatever that was meant to be


  4. says:

    Not for me I picked this one up from the used book bin at my local health foods store after reading the description on the back cover After 50 pages or so I began skimming and knew it was time to move on Boring and pointlessDon't judge a book by its cover blurb


  5. says:

    Good crime noir but Esteleman gets little bit carried away in his amazing but often distracting descriptive statements at the cost of the plot


  6. says:

    Publisher's CommentsPlot Summary Calling upon his considerable novelistic skills Loren D Estleman exposes the black heart of a seemingly stable well run city suddenly pitched into violence and chaos A delicate balance of forces—greed and corruption ambition and desire—run out of control in the wake of a serial killer's grisly rampage A power struggle—between a police chief who has looked the other way for too long a Mafia boss who holds the city's vices in his powerful grasp and media reporters looking for a big story—turns what has been a minor dispute into a desperate struggle for survival Setting this drama in a blue collar metropolis dominated by an oil company Estleman with an unerring eye for telling detail and an ear for dialogue that reveals the secret desires of his characters crafts a fascinating deadly tapestry of love ambition revenge and redemption a stunning portrait of the human conditionMy thoughts GAS CITY was a sluggish start for me because I found that I had to read it slower than my normal pace and once or twice during the first few chapters I thought about giving it up thinking to myself 'this book is strange' What kept me going was the author's writing style Estleman has a way with words that just drew me in To me he is a very visual writer and as I read I could very clearly see the characters acting out the scenes of this in this book in my mind I recently read an interview with Estlemen where he credits his background as an artist to his descriptive writitng style I could definitely see this in GAS CITY It was almost as though Estleman was 'drawing or painting' the scene the characters and the dialogue with his words This was truly amazing to me The Author I read this book for a discussion on my online bookclub 4MA and I don't think I would have done so had that not been the case After reading it I keep asking myself why I've never heard of this author before? He is written SEVERAL books His is perhaps most well known for his series featuring hard boiled Detroit detective Amos Walker Estleman is up to #18 in this series In addition to this he has authored 7 books in a Detroit Crime Series 7 Westerns that feature US Deputy Marshal Page Murdock 5 books in a series starring a mob killer protagonist named Peter Macklin and has recently started a new series about a film director for UCLA who inadvertently becomes an amateur sleuth He also has authored several stand alone mysteries and GAS CITY is one of these


  7. says:

    The author takes a break – actually I don’t think Mr Estleman ever stops writing – from his Amos Walker books with this stand alone novel This is the story of the precariously balanced fictional town of Gas City with politicians law enforcement officials organized crime and the clergy all carefully scratching each others’ backs while keeping a cautious eye over their shoulders Each faction has a vested interest in the status uo – a dysfunctional functioning arrangement – each fully aware that one errant spark could lead to an implosion taking all involved down in flamesWhen Police Chief Francis X Russell loses his wife to cancer the fuse is lit the slow burn begins and the reader follows the slow motion train wreck of Gas City With a “nothing left to lose” attitude Russell begins cleaning up “his city” alliances are broken and very uickly it becomes a game of every man for himself – and it’s not pretty Labeled a “crime novel” that it is – there is a serial killer lurking in the not so distant background but what really drives this book is Estleman’s superb cast of characters – the Chief local mob members a Catholic Bishop newspapermen and the mayors one current and one vying to return to office Caught in this power struggle are a hotel detective and his prostitute girl friend who are trying to make ends meet and maybe a life togetherThere is also a strong “noir ish” flavor to Gas City with the scenes painted here the dialogue and particularly each character’s struggle with wrong and right This should come as no surprise to fans of the Walker series So although the plot may be one we’re familiar with – and even the characters the story and the telling of it are top notch I thoroughly enjoyed this book – definitely recommended


  8. says:

    Francis X Russell is Gas City’s chief of police For many years he has maintained a gentleman’s agreement with the local Mob boss Anthony Zeno The drugs the illegal gambling and the hookers stay within a small clearly defined area of the city In return Russell receives financial consideration and the city at large remains relatively crime free When Russell’s wife of 30 plus years succumbs to cancer the chief has a crisis of conscience and begins raids into the restricted area The repercussions are significant with a mayoral race approaching Political alliances are altered Zeno loses the endorsement of the out of town crime hierarchy to which he reports Mob controlled unions threaten strikes and even the city’s powerful Catholic church is knocked off balance Mix in a serial killer dubbed “Beaver Cleaver” by the media and a doomed love affair between a disgraced cop and a hooker for what may be the prolific Estleman’s most thought provoking and emotionally engaging novel among the 60 or so he’s written Its subject is contemporary rust belt politics as a human phenomenon and the way that a politician’s compromises can affect both the citizenry at large and the individuals who make up that citizenry Each of the half dozen plotlines is executed flawlessly and presented in a context of moral ambiguity in which every choice—whether self serving or altruistic—has conseuences both good and evil


  9. says:

    Gas City by Loren D Estleman B plus narrated by Mel Foster produced by Tantor Media downloaded from audiblecomThis is a book about a city dominated by its connection to the oil industry and the blue collar workers that inhabit the city The police chief has overlooked corruption too long especially when connected with his best friend a mafia boss But when the chief’s wife dies he suddenly seems to have a change of heart and decides to try to end the corruption There is a hotel security guard whose mistress is a “working girl” and he begins to be suspicious of a hotel room which is supposed to be unrented but which someone seems to be living in This security guard has also turned over a new leaf and for some reason has stopped drinking Add to all this a serial killer focusing on killing prostitutes and putting their cut up bodies in garbage bags an editor of a town newspaper who wants to sell papers a priest who turns up at odd moments and whose loyalty to his friend the chief is in uestion and a woman attorney who wants to replace the mayor in the next election and you have a book of many plots This is my first Estleman book It was well written with maybe a few too many story lines for me


  10. says:

    An interesting noir tale set in a fictional midwestern city that explores intersecting tales of cops and crooks and those who live at various levels of society There's Police Chief Russell who for 20 years has been on the take and kept crime out of the middle and upper class neighborhoods in exchange for looking the other way in an area referred to as the circle There all sorts of vice runs rampant There's mob boss Anthony Zeno with a young wife and a penchant for opera who has kept this gentleman's agreement with Russell for several decades Yet this novel is all about what happens when the delicate balance is blown apart; Russell's wife dies of cancer and suddenly the police chief starts doing his job much to the astonishment of the mayor the press and Anthony Zeno's bosses Throw in a serial killer and an ex policeman who also turns over a new leaf and you've got a dark but chewy narrative whose main character is really the city Gas City herself