Bill Kerwin's Reviews > Death Claims

Death Claims by Joseph Hansen
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Mar 18, 2016

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bookshelves: detective-mystery
Read in September, 2009


Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter has his doubts about the death of John Oats. True, the retired book dealer was dying of cancer, but good swimmers don't usually drown themselves close to the shore. And then of course there's the fact that Oats changed the beneficiary of his life insurance policy just days before his death.

I didn't find the plot as compelling as Brandstetter's first recorded case (Fadeout), but I am still intrigued by his character. He's a thoroughly hardboiled detective who is also a practicing homosexual, and who treats his orientation--as his author treats it--as a given fact of life. This was groundbreaking genre work in the '70's, and it still holds up today.
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03/18 marked as: read

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Bruce This is the only Dave Brandstetter mystery I've read, and, like you, I enjoyed his character, his witty and trenchant observations, but ultimately found the plot less than compelling. I'll put Fadeout on my to-read list.


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