Reviews and Comment: The Dark Streets (2007)

Kirkus, December 15, 2006

Intelligent, literate, forbiddingly bleak fare for Liffey-lovers.

Publisher's Weekly, December 18, 2006

In the ninth Jack Liffey mystery (after 2005's Dangerous Games ), Shannon once again skillfully dissects the sociocultural landscape of Los Angeles. This underrated series remains consistently provocative.

Booklist, January 2007
By Keir Graff

[Starred Review] Jack Liffey is a walking conscience, a bruised crusader who remains an unerring advocate of doing things the hard way and on behalf of the little guy. There's a lot packed into this ambitious book, including examinations of both antiterrorist hysteria and the dangers posed by high-minded ideals. The intellectual journey is every bit as keen as we've come to expect. Fans of thinking-man's detective fiction will find much to ponder.

Chicago Tribune, Feb 4, 2007.
By Dick Adler

John Shannon's strong and resonant ninth book about the onetime aerospace engineer who now finds missing children in some of Southern California's stranger places. I've gone on at some length about how important the Liffey books are. "Philip Marlowe would have been proud of his contemporary heir Ė hard as nails with a soft spot in the middle," writes Michael Connelly on the jacket. I couldn't have said it better myself.

The Denver Post, February 4, 2007.
By Tom and Enid Schantz

We've long been singing the praises of this overlooked writer, whose private detective, Jack Liffey, has made a career of rescuing lost children and teenagers. There's plenty of action to drive the plot, but we'll remember the book for its characters and their very human and sometimes heartbreaking predicaments. Shannon writes with compassion, as well as intelligence.

New York Times Book Review, February 25, 2007
By Marilyn Stasio

Unlike old friends, who have a way of changing careers, marital status or religious affiliation when you lose touch, series detectives can usually be counted on to stay in town and on the job until they drop. Jack Liffey, the Los Angeles private eye in John Shannon's broad-shouldered novels, is one of those stalwart souls. Long a champion of teenagers in trouble, especially kids from L.A.'s culturally torn-up ethnic neighborhoods, this hard-boiled sleuth is on familiar turf in THE DARK STREETS, searching for a Korean film student named Soon-Lin Kim who went missing. But the landscape shifts when Liffey discovers that a paramilitary group of Asian-Americans has taken an interest in Soon-Lin Kimís student project. Although racial tensions always run high in Liffey's world, the violent turn they take here causes him to question his faith in 'the innate goodness of man.' And another old friend loses his way in the dark.