created by john shannon


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Jack is drawn deep into Orange County's Vietnamese community where a beautiful young woman has disappeared. The exotic realities and the complex alliances of Little Saigon draw Jack Liffey into danger--but the danger is soon magnified when he faces a trouble young man who believes he has an exotic toadstone in his head and has a chilling fear that everyone is about to laugh at him.

An Otto Penzler Book, Carroll & Graf, 2001 ISBN 0-7867-0876-X

Click here to read an excerpt from The Orange Curtain.

Reviews and comments:

Dick Lochte, L.A. Times, April 1, 2001:
"In describing his sleuth Liffey's search for the daughter of a Vietnamese bookstore owner, Shannon matches the master [Raymond Chandler] in several key areas, notably location, characterization and dialogue. Shannon has done a remarkable update on the Chandler knight-errant, moving him to crisply described streets mean and alien…

He's also provided him with a cynical but not despairing worldview that reflects more than a hint of the humanity and political savvy of the heroes who serve the international thrillers of Manuel Vazquez Montalban and Paco Ignacio Taibo. In other words, Liffey is a good man to have around, on either side of the Orange Curtain."

Marilyn Stasio, N.Y. Times, April 1, 2001
"Jack Liffey, a Vietnam veteran whose ingrained decency makes him a natural for tracing missing children…a complex guy who leads a messy personal life but has a warm way with strangers. Shannon…creates interesting characters with rich inner lives and the wit to express their craziest thoughts with some eloquence."

Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune, April 1, 2001
"Shannon pulls off one of those career breakthroughs that make the writing life so interesting. . . The same perfect pitch which captures Tien’s speech patterns also makes Shannon’s other characters glow with originality and energy. Let’s hope that enough of Shannon’s former paperback loyalists will be willing to make him the hardcover star he deserves to be."

Publisher’s Weekly (starred review) March 26, 2001
"Readers who like gritty noir leavened by genuine heart and a healthy dollop of erudition will love Shannon’s fourth Jack Liffey mystery. Shannon delivers a tour-de-force climax, the action believably, and beautifully, driven by each character’s needs."

Booklist (starred review) April 2001
"Those new to this superb but relatively unknown series will want to search out the three earlier Liffey novels."

Kirkus, April 2001
"Dead-on characterizations, an ear for dialogue, picturesque descriptions of Orange County’s Vietnamese community, and wry touches. A typically offbeat addition to the Liffey series."

Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser mysteries
"The Orange Curtain is both brilliant and readable (not always the same thing.)"

Thomas Perry, author of Death Benefits>
"A smart well-crafted mystery with convincingly fallible characters and an assured sense of the look and feel of Southern California."

George P. Pelecanos, author of Right as Rain:
"For too long, Shannon has been an unsung hero of the modern crime novel. In The Orange Curtain, he has written an intelligent, surprising book, found the heart of his working class characters and delivered a first-rate thriller in the bargain."

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Copyright © John Shannon 2005. All rights reserved.

Copyright © John Shannon 2015. All rights reserved.