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Every Man a Menace

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,850 ratings  ·  210 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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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,850 ratings  ·  210 reviews

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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
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
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
Jan 13, 2018 added it
Shelves: mount-tbr-2018, botm
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.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: h, 2016

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
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
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.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this book 10 stars if I could. One of the best crime novels I've read in years!! Love the way it's told
Jessie Seymour
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
Michael Martz
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-year
If you're looking for a 'good guys win' novel or a linear crime story, Patrick Hoffman's "Every Man a Menace" ain't that kind of party. If I wanted to give you a comparable, the only thing I could think of would be Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'. It's a story that starts near its end, folds back on itself a few times, and ends not too far along from where it began.

"Every Man..." begins with a man's release from prison. Raymond had been 'protected', while in the joint, by a real criminal mastermind/
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
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
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. ...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 it was ok
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 ...more
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
Lea Ann
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have to admit I wasn't into this one. Every Man a Menace benefits from short declarative and perfunctory sentence structure. It's pace is quick and it moves well. Based in five parts from five different points of view, the book works backward in time, with the first part introducing the character of Raymond Gaspar, a recently released prisoner who has a simple job to perform for his protector on the inside. He needs to figure out which of two people involved in the drug trade have lost their e ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Patrick Hoffman’s Every Man a Menace is everything I want from a crime novel: suspenseful, dialogue that cuts yet isn’t cute, and an attempt at a realistic plot. It has all of those things and more. Writers can take note.

A beloved work from the guys at The Watch podcast, where I’ve gotten many a good recommendation, this book never takes its foot off the gas. But not in a pulpy, cheap thrills kind of way. These characters are real, the circumstances are legit, and the atmosphere claustrophobic.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Molly users, Thai boy lovers, Filipina drug queens, Israeli dealers
This was an Audible Daily Deal. This and the San Francisco setting were the only reason I downloaded it, as I've had a taste for crime thrillers lately. I didn't know the author, but was willing to give it a try.

Every Man a Menace is a straightforward plotty tale about several POV characters, from the guy just out of prison sent to check on some deals by his patron, to an Israeli dealer who finds himself in over his head with Asian triads, to a Brazilian-born con-woman of many accents and many s
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
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Like a quick-burning cigarette, filthy and addictive. Can't wait for the next one. ...more
Sara Stetz
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fast paced tale of drug dealer’s intricate web that spans the globe. The story is unveiled cleverly and the characters had a cold, raw edge to them. Gritty look at the ruthless nature of drug trafficking.
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. ...more
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. ...more
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
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an unconventional crime novel in its format, and uses that difference to its benefit to such degree that I'd say it ranks as probably the single best crime novel I've ever read.
The novel jumps among perspectives across a single line of drug trade, going from the point where a sizable shipment of Molly hits the streets of San Francisco, tracing it back to its origins in Southeast Asia in the hands of mysterious gangsters and enigmatic middle men and deal-makers, to its money men in Miami
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Patrick Hoffman is a novelist and private investigator based in Brooklyn, NY.

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