The nice thing about this blog is that I get word of new RPCV writers. Here is a writer who has been under the radar of PeaceCorpsWriters: John Shannon (Malawi 1968-71). John has written nine “Jack Liffey” mysteries and four other novels, including Courage, the story of a disillusioned American Communist who goes to Africa to help foment a revolution. This novel came out of his Peace Corps experience and left him a “prohibited immigrant” in Malawi for over a decade.
His 11 California mysteries are about Jack Liffey ”a decent guy, as compassionate as he is brave. His city is greater LA, his turf the forgotten suburbs, run-down neighborhoods and volatile ethnic communities.
“Jack Liffey understands loss. First he lost his job in the aerospace industry, then he lost his wife and daughter. All he really has left is his ability to track down missing children, and his willingness to elbow his way out into the tangle and corruption of the 21st century city.”
Shannon has build these novels around the different ethnic social history of LA. His new book Palos Verdes Blue (published by Pegasus) is in part a turf war between Mexican day-laborers and houseboys in a posh suburb on the sea where a group of racists surfers and bikers try to keep them out.
You might have heard of The Concrete River, his first novel, that is back in print from Pegasus in trade paperback. It was Jack’s first case, tracking down a missing woman in East LA, and discovering how strange and dangerous the city is. It is now considered a LA classic.
Everyone has a website, and so does John Shannon. Check out: www.jackliffey.com