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Dead Skip (DKA File #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Dan Kearny Associates is a San Francisco private investigation firm employing some of the most memorable characters in mystery fiction. P.I. Bart Heslip, a former boxer, is in a coma after being brutally beaten. Now it's up to his coworkers at DKA to sift through his current cases to discover the culprit--before it's too late. Ties in with the Mysterious Press hardcover ...more
Paperback, 197 pages
Published December 1992 by Mysterious Press (first published 1972)
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Dan Schwent
May 31, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When repo man Bart Heslip is found in a coma in a wrecked, repossessed Jaguar, his college, former cop Larry Ballard, can't shake the idea that someone staged the accident to cover something up. Armed with only his wits and Heslip's last two days worth of cases, Ballard goes up against a three day deadline to find a would-be killer.

I initially bought this because I knew it was a crossver with Richard Stark's The Plunder Squad. It proved to be a pretty read all on its own.

Dead Skip reads like an
...more
Steve
Oct 08, 2011 Steve rated it liked it
Just read this book again, after turning it up for a quarter at the library sale. It was well worth the quarter & well worth the re-read. It's a DKA novel -- Daniel Kearney Associates -- wherein one of their agents is assaulted and left for dead in the middle of the night. This is the story of the rest of the crew trying to find out what happened.

Several things make this a really interesting read in 2011. First, it's a non-romantic portrait of the city at the time. Gores' locations are reall
...more
Sam Reaves
Apr 17, 2013 Sam Reaves rated it liked it
Joe Gores was a private eye in real life, and this early novel is a good account of a San Francisco P.I.'s life. As you might expect, it's a long way from Spade and Archer. The plot involves a firm that specializes in car repos and skip chasing; when one of their operatives is beaten into a coma by an unknown assailant after remarking to a colleague that he's found something funny about one of his cases, the colleague refuses to leave it to the cops. The hunt involves lots of driving around the ...more
Aaron Martz
Feb 22, 2014 Aaron Martz rated it it was ok
The details about the everyday life of a bounty hunter and repo man are fascinating, but the rest of this book is sub-par. There are an interesting array of characters, and it's possible other books in the series are better than this one, but the plot of this one is thin and drawn-out, and the ending is a talkative mess. Gores tries for a McBain style terseness, and sometimes he succeeds, but the rest of the time it's obvious, almost amateurish, imitation.
Thomas
Jul 07, 2015 Thomas rated it liked it
Enjoyable little hard boiled procedural. Tight prose (Gores was an admirer of Hammett, and it shows), taught pacing, with evocative descriptions of San Francisco and the East Bay suburbs. I didn't take the time to look up the actual addresses on Google street view, but for the most part Gores uses real place names (unlike "Bay City" for Santa Monica ala Chandler or "Santa Teresa" for Santa Barbara ala Macdonald). Some of Gores' references to urban decay or attempts at portraying black American ...more
Steve Isaak
Oct 22, 2014 Steve Isaak rated it liked it
*Loosely linked crossover novel with Richard Stark's novel Plunder Squad *

Dead is a fun, fast-moving and P.I.-gritty novel that features the East Bay and San Francisco area, written with feels-like-you're-there detailed effectiveness. Good book for a lazy autumn afternoon read, worth owning. Followed by the next DKA File novel Final Notice.


(This review originally appeared on the Reading & Writing By Pub Light site.)
LJ
DEAD SKIP - Good
Gores, Joe - 1st in DKA File series

Dan Kearny Associates is a San Francisco private investigation firm employing some of the most memorable characters in mystery fiction. P.I. Bart Heslip, a former boxer, is in a coma after being brutally beaten. Now it's up to his coworkers at DKA to sift through his current cases to discover the culprit--before it's too late.

Good, but not great.
Jane Mackay
Jul 13, 2014 Jane Mackay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in Gores' DKA File series. I'm now a Joe Gores fan. With a degree from Stanford, he became a private investigator (repo man) in SF because of his idolization of Hammett. He does not let his idol down.
Doug
Aug 12, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I liked this book -- tight, engaging, and a great period piece of the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 1970s. I wrote a blog entry about it: http://douglevin.blogspot.com/2011/08...
Steven
Jul 04, 2012 Steven rated it it was ok
A fair detective story. It started out okay, but except for Kearny, the characterizations were not satisfactory. The story seemed plausible but felt too sketchy at times. The writing was fair as was the ending.
Ed
Mar 22, 2009 Ed rated it liked it
A good book, the first in the DKA series. Thought I'd start with the first of this series by Joe Gores...establishes who's who before reading others in the series.
Jim
Feb 20, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Pretty good. First in a series about a San Francisco agency who repossess cars. I assume the characters continue on.
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JOE GORES is the author of the acclaimed DKA series of street-level crime and detection, as well as the stunning suspense novels Dead Man and Menaced Assassin. Born in 1931, he served in the U.S. Army-writing biographies of generals at the Pentagon-was educated at the University of Notre Dame and Stanford, and spent twelve years as a San Francisco private investigator. The author of dozens of ...more
More about Joe Gores...

Other Books in the Series

DKA File (6 books)
  • Final Notice (DKA File, #2)
  • Gone, No Forwarding (DKA File, #3)
  • 32 Cadillacs (DKA File, #4)
  • Contract Null & Void (DKA File, #5)
  • Cons, Scams & Grifts (DKA File, #6)

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