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Done for a Dime

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Raymond “Strong” Carlisle made his mark as an ace sideman to the biggest names in R&B. Now he lies in the mud outside his home, shot dead from behind. He’s the first official casualty in a dirty war for control of Rio Mirada: a low-rent “city in transition” at the northernmost point of the San Francisco Bay, beset by drug dealers, arsonists, squatters, and restless dev ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Apr 26, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Corbett's "Done for a Dime" is a damn fine read. If you are looking for crime fiction with an intense sense of place, a deft sense of human psychology and complexity, and finally a sure sense of narrative drive, well, that's the novel. A second novel, too, that rises above--in terms of narrative complexity and multiple POVs--a very fine first novel. So, "Done for a Dime": dig in, I tell you--oh, and father/son dynamics, crooked politicians, murder and arson, sympathetic and unsympathetic h ...more
May 28, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DONE FOR A DIME. (2003). David Corbett. ****.
This is only the second of Corbett’s novels that I have read, but I am still mightily impressed with his ability. This crime novel starts out with the story of Raymond “Strong” Carlisle. Carlisle was once a genius on the blues saxophone, and his group was very popular in the Bay area. Now he was getting older and his health wasn’t too good. One of the problems was that his kidneys were failing – though this didn’t stop him from drinking. One night, as
Jan 11, 2012 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, crime, read_2012
'Done for a Dime' is a hard book to categorise. Initially a by the numbers police procedural accompanied by a soulful backdrop then morphing into a family drama before completing its evolution to a contained dystopia following the horrific aftermath of a community-wide arson attack. Each subsidiary to the overarching tale deepened the story with added layers of perspective and emotional connectivity between the seemingly unlinked characters - so the path wasn't hard to follow, just the direction ...more
Keith Skinner
Mar 12, 2014 Keith Skinner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many aspects that I loved about this book. The prologue really sets the tone and puts you inside the thoughts of Strong Carlisle. It sets the stage well for the events that will unfold in chapter 1. The crime scene in chapter 1 is brilliant. Corbett puts you in the middle of all the mayhem that you would experience in that situation, the random glimpses of other people and other situations beginning to form. In general, Corbett spends a lot of time on detail. You know and understand th ...more
David Corbett’s second book with its wonderful title is not his most focused affair. A few strands are connected to his first and third books which could arguably make them a loose trilogy (very loose), but few never resolve which may be on purpose. But whether or not it is a slightly disjointed read veering from family drama, character study, murder mystery, a police procedural(showing a Richard Price influence), and then in the middle everything fades away and an apocalyptic fire erupts and di ...more
Lynn Millar
Oct 20, 2013 Lynn Millar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of local (to me) crime. Murder of blues musician links corruption to a tough case for the main detective. - Best thing about this book is a female character who is perfectly imagined. Many cheers to Mr. Corbett for that. - I read years ago and having to speak of it now (because it's so damn good) I think I'll read it again.
Dave Peticolas
Oct 08, 2014 Dave Peticolas rated it really liked it

A nice gritty crime drama set in Northern California.

Enjoyed the book, though I was surprised by the ending.
Nov 23, 2007 Pam marked it as to-read
11/23/07 rec via pbs
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David Corbett is the author of four novels: The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel—Rising Star Category 2011).

David’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, with two stories selected for Best Amer
More about David Corbett...

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