The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ulysses Galen is shot down in the streets of Harlem and Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are on the case. The prime suspect is a member of a gang calling themselves The Real Cool Moslems. After an incident with the Moslems, Coffin Ed is suspended. Good thing, since one of the girls that runs with the Moslems is his teenaged daughter...
It's a crime that Chester Himes isn't more well known than he is. The writing in The Real Cool Killers is gritty and straight to the point. I can see Himes's influence in not only Joe Lansdale's writing but also James Ellroy's. Himes's Harlem isn't a nice place to live, that's for sure. The revelation of who actually killed Galen is fairly surprising.
I think I'll be tracking down the rest of the Harlem Detectives series. Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones are ass-kicking machines and I'd like to see them on another case where they can fully cut loose.
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