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Every Man a Menace

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,015 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
Patrick Hoffman burst onto the crime fiction scene with The White Van, a bank heist thriller set in the back streets of San Francisco and a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Now he returns with his second novel, Every Man a Menace, the inside story of a ruthless ecstasy-smuggling ring.

San Francisco is about to receive the biggest delivery of MDMA to hit
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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James Thane
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Every Man a Menace consists of several set pieces all having to do with the delivery of a huge shipment of ecstasy from Thailand to San Francisco. Two nightclub owners from Miami are to manage this shipment, which will wind up with a Filipina woman in San Francisco. Masterminding part of the operation is a prison inmate named Arthur, and as the book opens, Arthur sends a prison buddy named Raymond Gaspar, who is just getting released, to check up on the operation in the Bay area.

The story is to
Shannon Deveny
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best thing about "Every Man A Menace" is that it's strictly a CRIME novel. There is no detective or inquisitive Good Samaritan trying to solve or stop the illegal activities because this isn't a traditional story of good and evil. It's a fascinating fictional look at how modern drug organizations work, and the motivations and situations that attract their participants. The book is thought provoking because it leaves you impressed by the varying types of intelligence displayed by the criminal ...more
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, h

Patrick Hoffman burst onto the crime fiction scene with The White Van, a bank heist thriller set in the back streets of San Francisco and a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Now he returns with his second novel, Every Man a Menace, the inside story of a ruthless ecstasy-smuggling ring.

San Francisco is about to receive the biggest delivery of MDMA to hit the West Coast in years. Raymond Gaspar, just out of prison, is sent to the city to check in on the incre
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Every Man A Menace reads like a Quentin Tarantino movie if in book form.

This novel is broken up into five main parts and when reading the first part, I had no idea where the novel was heading. It was like climbing into a car being driven by some rambling kook, not knowing which direction the trip would be heading (this metaphor being a good, entertaining thing).

On the one hand, I don't know how to describe the plot other than in the broad sense, the book is basically a tale about international
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Man, crime seems super stressful.

I don't really care at all about the intricacies of the drug trade -- the mechanics of it. To be honest, I find that whole world really boring. But Hoffman crafts his narrative around a group of fascinating characters: complex, oddly sympathetic, and flawed flawed flawed. (Bonus points for several really interesting ladies. And a variety of gay men. And Jews! This is kind of my personal trifecta.) Anyway, it was enough to make me discover that, at least within t
Jan 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: botm, mount-tbr-2018
My first DNF of the year.

Fifty pages in, & nothing of substance has happened, & I don’t care about any of these characters, & I’m not impressed with anything about the author’s style.

I’m moving on. Maybe I’ll circle back later.
Luke Gregoire
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fantastic crime novel. It was a great read and flowed like a movie script. The door was even left open for a follow up novel. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an easy read about gangsters and the lives the live. 4.5 stars.
Jessie Frederick
I feel like I enjoyed this book overall. For the first half of the book, it felt like I was reading two different stories, but I knew there had to be a connection somewhere, and as the story went on I was excited to see what that connection was. Then, as I got into part three, the plot really picked up pace, and I loved seeing how all of the characters were connected and how parts one and two were related. This book took on the whole domino effect idea, and I think Patrick Hoffman did a great jo ...more
Sara Klem
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. it appealed to me in the same way Breaking Bad did: it was gritty, fast-paced, and ruthless. Extra props for the badass female characters. Gloria was my favorite.
Tyler Bigney
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can't wait to see the movie. Great book! Was captivated the entire time.

Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I wasn't a big fan of how this story was told, but I did like that it knew what it's plot was and stuck to it. I hope that makes sense
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
My review appeared in the Aug. 1, 2016 edition of Library Journal:

For his second novel (after The White Van), private investigator-turned-novelist Hoffman spins a complex, globe-spanning tale of the ecstasy trade that plays with time and perspective in striking ways. Raymond Gaspar is released from prison with instructions to moderate a rumored rift in the San Francisco MDMA pipeline, which runs through Gloria Ocampo, a well-dressed grandmother in her 50s. Hoffman then moves his story line back
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Gritty and realistic, this book made me think about the importance of having full information. Because someone didn't know that drug producers were scaling up, bad things happened. The middle managers didn't know where the drugs were going and more bad things happened. The poor schlubs at the bottom didn't know why everyone around them was on edge and worse things happened. This book made me want to chase down the author's first novel. This book also made me think about how heartless and pitiles ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: botm
In short, it's a book about amateur drug deals in over their heads. The plot lines are confusing and not well explained. The characters were under developed and uninteresting. This isn't the genre for me, which probably contributes to the tone of this review, but it just wasn't a hit. At the end of the book I felt unsatisfied - no justice, just people haphazardly killing people who threaten them without full understanding of the situation. and no closure - i want to know more about Isaak and his ...more
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Somehow Hoffman makes you care about these characters even though they are all vile criminals. You know these guys are bad and yet you don't want them to get killed. Arrested maybe would be ok. It is fast paced and gritty. The setting is worldwide: Bangkok, San Francisco, Miami. The ingenuity of the drug smugglers in the packaging and transportation of their products across the world is most interesting. Their ruthlessness is unbelievable.
Erin Cataldi
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I've read lots of books about drugs, but this was the first that really went in depth and focused on the operation as a whole. Hoffman provides fascinating insight, back stories, insider knowledge, and twists and turns to make this a fascinating and dark read. 5 separate, yet related, short stories intertwine to put together the puzzle of a complex ecstasy smuggling operation that spans continents. Flawlessly executed and plotted this is a must read for crime fiction readers. This would also mak ...more
Jessica T.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this novel but it was just meh... Something just wasn't working.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thriller
This slender crime novel is a prime example of the oft-abused advice to writers to 'Show, don't tell'. The quality of writing is stellar, almost literary. Packed with characters, and plot twists - all under 300 pages! The dialogue is brilliant, right on the money. Highly recommended.
Ross Cumming
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel from Patrick Hoffman and it's a whole lot different from his debut, The White Van, which I read and also enjoyed.
In this novel Hoffman tells the story of a large drugs haul of ecstasy which is being shipped from the Far East and bound for Miami. The story is told in five distinct parts but the stories intertwine to complete the whole story. The five parts of the novel are also not linear, so that we go back and forth in time with the story and the characters.
I must admit
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Question: How does MDMA get from it's naturally occurring state in Southeast Asian trees to getting snorted up noses in Miami clubs? Answer: Very, very carefully, and through many pairs of grubby (and often blood-stained) hands. Patrick Hoffman explores this supply chain in noir-ish Every Man a Menace. Cue up Peruvian Cocaine and settle in for a pulpy ride.

An ex-con returns to San Francisco to keep an eye on an erratic dealer, as a favor for his still-incarcerated boss. A Filipina grandmother
Book of the Month

Crime fiction is my first and best reading love. The genre is so expansive that it welcomes sleuths of all stripes (literally in the case of cat mysteries). What I most love about crime novels is how they introduce me to new worlds and shows the way into how we live now and how societies function (or more often, don't). When chaos surrounds us in real life, even fictional chaos offers a much needed escape for t
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book, about the people involved in a drug smuggling enterprise, was impossible to put down. I found myself literally on the edge of my chair, hunched over my iPad, unable to get up for that cup of coffee I really wanted but was unwilling to leave the book for. It's that riveting.

The story follows several groups of criminals involved in the various activities of the drug trade. None of the business partners trust each other, and for good reason; most of them are only interested in furtherin
Lindsey Roath
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, crime
This was such a different book for me. It went backward from chronologically which was an interesting way to write a book and it allowed the reader to continue to see a larger and larger picture.
The story is about a drug ring that continues to expand and contract according to the key players bringing in money. As people go to jail and move in an out of specific circles in this worldwide drug ring they double and triple cross each other and the reader is never truly sure who is in charge.

This w
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tremendous crime novel by the rightful heir to Elmore Leonard--and I don't say that lightly. I read hundreds of crime novels and Hoffman is simply one of the best. He's got it all--economical writing, storytelling ability and the ability to generate suspense and get in the heads of his criminals and low life's. This story about the trail of a drug deal from the making of the drug in Thailand to its eventual sale in Oakland and the "adventures" of the criminals on that trail is unique and fascina ...more
John Wheeles
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here I am peacefully reading a tale of the drug trade, when a curveball comes out of nowhere. All of a sudden you know this tome is setting you up for a bumpy ride. After the first tangent, you come to expect the unexpected but it comes with flair. This is far from my favorite read ever, I prefer stories with some good guys. Or, at least let some of the bad guys who are a little less despicable win. That said, this is a well written story that pulls you in. Pick up a copy... you won't regret it, ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: botm, 4-stars, 2016
This book was my November pick from Book of the Month. I have to say, I definitely was not disappointed.

I love the way the story unfolds. It's done in a rather unique fashion, but it makes sense when it's over. I think the nonlinear story telling is a large part of what truly kept me interested.

I also enjoyed that this book is a pure crime novel. It's purely about criminals. There is no "good cop saving the world" plot. Just straight up criminals doing what they do. I absolutely enjoyed all of
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was my first Book of the Month Club selection that wasn't super awesome. None of the characters were developed enough for me to care what happened to them. Sometimes the story was super interesting and other times it lost me all together. It took me forever to read because I really had to push myself to care about the storyline.
Kathleen Gray
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
well written and entertaining novel about the drug trade and the characters involved. I learned some things about a world I knew nothing about, which is a plus. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC- I had not read Hoffman before but I look forward to his next book.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book even though it usually isn't my type of book. This story was about drug dealers and gangsters. The plot was thorough and I liked how all the characters were relevant to the story.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good, wide ranging crime story - good writing, relatively easy to understand, good characters. Pulled together nicely with no loose ends. I liked who the baddies really were and being from the Bay Area I enjoyed the setting and many Bay Area references.
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Patrick Hoffman is a novelist and private investigator based in Brooklyn, NY.
More about Patrick Hoffman

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