Now working freelance, Dave Brandstetter digs into an evangelist’s secret life
His father’s death left Dave Brandstetter with a hole in his heart and an inheritance in his bank account. The money allowed him to venture out on his own, launching a freelance insurance investigation agency that specializes in suspicious deaths. His first case is potentially explosive, and if he isn’t careful, it could be his last.
Crusading evangelist Gerald Dawson believes that piety and violence go hand-in-hand. To clean up his local skid row, he has taken to vigilante justice, ransacking pornography shops and intimidating their owners. When Gerald is found with his neck snapped, the police finger smut peddler Lon Tooker for the crime, but Dave disagrees. As he digs into the holy man’s nighttime activities, he finds a collection of sins that would make even the devil blush.
Skinflick is book five in the Dave Brandstetter Mystery series, which also includes Troublemaker and The Man Everybody Was Afraid Of.
Joseph Hansen (1923–2004) was an American author of mysteries. The son of a South Dakota shoemaker, he moved to a California citrus farm with his family in 1936. He began publishing poetry in the New Yorker in the 1950s, and joined the editorial teams of gay magazines ONE and Tangents in the 1960s. Using the pseudonyms Rose Brock and James Colton, Hansen published five novels and a collection of short stories before the appearance of Fadeout (1970), the first novel published under his own name.
The book introduced street-smart insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter, a complex, openly gay hero who grew and changed over the series’s twelve novels. By the time Hansen concluded the series with A Country of Old Men (1990), Brandstetter was older, melancholy, and ready for retirement. The 1992 recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Hansen published several more novels before his death in 2004.