To Bring My Shadow
by Matt Phillips
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 17 Nov 2021
All Due Respect Books, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
This haunting, hardboiled tale follows detective Frank “Slim Fat” Pinson and his partner as they try to unravel the vexing mystery surrounding a who-done-it drug murder in San Diego.
Frank “Slim Fat” Pinson is your regular hardboiled murder cop—hell, Frank’s a cliché. His wife is dead after jumping from a bridge and he’s a mal-practicing Catholic. He’s tough as nails. Hard as sin. Except not. When Frank and his partner, “Skinny” Slade Ryerson, catch a cartel murder case, they’re sucked into a black hell of political corruption with ties to Santa Muerte. And Frank—a man who knows himself so well—spins into an epic crisis of faith. The first detective novel from acclaimed pulp writer Matt Phillips introduces readers to a fascinating character of indefensible fault, immense morality, and incalculable demise.
“An intelligently conceived and executed crime drama...A thrilling addition to an old but still vital literary genre.”
“Phillips gets better with each book, using crime as a vehicle to penetrate the depths of the human soul…”
—Travis Richardson, Derringer winner and author of Bloodshot & Bruised
“An outstanding hardboiled police thriller full of intrigue, corruption, murder, existential dilemmas, and more. One of the best and most prolific contemporary authors working—make room on your bookshelf for Frank Pinson and Slade Ryerson.”
—Andrew Davie, author of Pavement and Ouroboros
“In To Bring My Shadow, Phillips treats readers to the down-and-dirtiest whodunnit they’ll ever read. Gritty, post-modern, and self-aware, this detective novel introduces readers to Frank Pinson and Slade Ryerson (the suave Watson to Frank Pinson’s slovenly, self-destructive Holmes). Let’s be clear: this ain’t no tea-cozy and hardboiled doesn’t quite cut it, either. Some of the central tropes are Tarantinoesque and Phillips’ dialog and eye for detail bring to mind The Wire. But this is something else—something unclean, cheeky and fun. Have a go.”
—Steve Lambert, author of Philisteens
“Relentless, gritty, and heart-pounding…To Bring My Shadow reads like a fast-paced novelization of a banger episode of ‘The First 48.’ An authentic portrayal of San Diego, fantastic characterization, and Phillips’ sharp-as-a-knife writing skill make this a must-read.” —Curtis Ippolito, author of Burying The Newspaper Man
Average rating from 6 members
Other than Wade Miller’s Max Thursday novels, published from 1947 to 1951, there have been surprisingly few crime novels set in one of America’s largest cities, a Navy town, and a border town. Perhaps that’s because all the crime stories have been blown by the Santa Ana’s to the giant megalopolis to the north. That’s all about to change. In ” To Bring My Shadow,” Phillips brings us a giant helping of bleak San Diego noir. It’s a buddy detective novel with two homicide detectives, Frank Pinson and his partner Slade Ryerson. Pinson feels like a dead Man walking ever since his wife took a swan dive off the Coronado Bridge. He’s wandering the streets after his shift ends, chasing down ghosts on empty streets and in empty bottles. Ryerson is the younger of the duo, a suave ladies man: “Slade pretended—though he didn’t admit it—that he was a movie star cop. You know the type: Dude wore a black leather jacket, faded at the elbows. Had himself a nice set of expensive shades, a spare pistol—one of those .25s the movie star girls carry in their purses—tucked slim and sweet in an ankle holster.” The novel rumbles and shakes with deadpan gallows humor about what these detectives see at night, but there are hints that they’ve become so jaded that it’s all they are really comfortable with. We are told: “It’s funny what death can do to somebody. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on—you could be a cop or a crook, but death will sink her teeth into you like a ragged mutt on a Tijuana street.” Especially in the beginning, we get all kinds of great phrases from this novel, offering us a glimpse of the darkness Pinson, the lead character, feels. The Case they catch here is a corpse in a barrel on a nearly deserted beach with his hands and his junk missing. The Cartels don’t usually act this way north of the border, but The whole thing is mixed up with Santa Muerte symbols and secrets that need to be unraveled.