Cover image for Shotgun Alley
Shotgun Alley
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2004.
Physical Description:
301 p. ; 25 cm.
"Honey--17 years old, vivacious, wealthy, a politician's daughter--has a penchant for drug dealers, mad-dog bikers, booze, sex, crank, and guns. She's run off with Cobra, the leader of a band of motorcycle-gang outcasts who have dubbed themselves the Outriders--having been too hot-headed and reckless for rival gangs. But her father, who is running for the U.S. Senate, wants her back before she takes his career down in flames. Enter Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop, star private eyes"--Container.


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Honey---a vivacious, wealthy, seventeen-year-old daughter of a politician---has a penchant for drug dealers, mad-dog bikers, booze, sex, crank, and guns. She's run off with Cobra, the leader of a band of motorcycle-gang outcasts who have dubbed themselves the Outriders since they are too hotheaded and reckless for other rival gangs. But her father, who is running for the U.S. Senate, wants her back before she takes his career down in flames along with her hell-bent soul.
Enter Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop, Andrew Klavan's star private eyes from Dynamite Road. Weiss is a former cop who is an accomplished detective with a lot of connections. Bishop is a savvy, strong-willed tough guy and ladies' man who does the legwork for Weiss's agency.
Bishop's assignment: infiltrate the Outriders and seduce and steal Honey away from Cobra. But has Bishop finally met his match? Cobra is brilliant as well as bad---an oddly intellectual biker who is one step ahead of everyone on his trail. And Honey is not only rich and beautiful, she is hotter than the hinges of hell, irresistibly alluring, a black widow who draws the hardest, toughest, sharpest hustlers into her lethal web---where she consumes them whole.
Bishop, falling for a woman like never before, is drawn into Honey's web, and even with the diabolically clever Weiss in his corner---working with the cops, scheming with the politicians, pulling the strings, and calling the shots---Bishop may be going down.
Has Bishop finally met his match? Is Honey too hot to handle?

Author Notes

Born in New York City, Andrew Klavan was a radio and newspaper journalist before turning to fiction full-time. Twice given the Edgar Award for mystery writing, he is the author of the bestselling novels True Crime, recently filmed starring Clint Eastwood and Don't Say A Word, the basis of a new film starring Michael Douglas. After living in London for many years, he has now settled in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Ellen, and his daughter Faith and his son Spencer.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Scott Weiss is a middle-aged PI based in San Francisco, an ex-cop with a basset hound's face, a romantic's soul and an empath's ability to read others. Jim Bishop is a young, handsome live wire with a taste for violence, drugs and loose women. Bishop works for Weiss, and the interplay between them is only one reason of many to read this memorable thriller from Klavan (Hunting Down Amanda, etc.). Last (and first) seen in last year's Dynamite Road, Weiss and Bishop here tackle separate cases, with Bishop taking the foreground as he is hired by a millionaire with political ambitions to retrieve the man's teenage daughter, Holly. She has shucked daddy for Cobra, head of a homicidal outlaw biker gang-and the only way to retrieve her is to seduce her. Meanwhile, Weiss takes on the case of an arch-feminist professor at Berkeley who hires him to track down the anonymous man who, she says, has been harassing her with erotic e-mails. Both cases hold major surprises that spin the narrative around. That narrative itself is a surprise, because although most of it is in the third person, Klavan breaks into it from time to time in his own first person, claiming in a foreword that the story is true and based on his early years working for a PI firm. In any case, the story is emotionally true: Klavan's understanding of the human heart and how it can be torn or salved by eros is uncanny. There's sharp action throughout and the interplay between Bishop's wildness and Weiss's moral gravity is a wonder. The book's only flaws are the jarring first-person intrusions, but they're bumps in a joy ride that's as exciting and real as any this year in thrillerdom. Agent, Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

In this breakneck hard-boiled mystery, Klavan brings back the compelling duo who premiered in Dynamite Road (2003): hulking PI Scott Weiss, a brooding, tarnished knight whose hangdog expression oozes weltschmertz, and Jim Bishop, a badass adrenaline junkie saved from a life of crime by Weiss to do the firm's dirty work. His current walk on the wild side involves infiltrating a vicious biker gang to wrest the wayward daughter of a local politico from the clutches of Cobra, a Charlie Manson wannabe with an abrupt bayonet. Meanwhile on the streets of San Francisco, Weiss hunts for the unreconstructed male behind a spate of erotic e-mail aimed at an icy feminist professor with secrets of her own, assisted by a callow intern whose candid first-person asides bring the whole thing down to earth. The mixture of intense action, fierce sexual obsession, and disillusioned longing is irresistible, and as for the hairpin plot, remember this: follow the money, cherchez la femme, and habeas corpus. This is a sure bet for fans of down-and-dirty thrillers ranging from Vachss to Pelecanos to Lee Child. --David Wright Copyright 2004 Booklist



Chapter One Two weeks later, a stranger walked into Shotgun Alley. It was a roadhouse on a shabby stretch of two-lane at the base of the Oakland Hills. The bikers liked to roll in after riding the canyons and Grizzly Peak. You curled down out of the winding forest lanes onto a half mile of flat highway lined with not much but gum trees, then there it was: a long, low, flat-roofed building of splintery redwood. Always a row of Harleys in the sandy lot in front. A spotlit sign up top with a pair of crossed shotguns painted on it. Made it look as if the place was named in the spirit of the old West. In fact, it was named for a thirty-year-old shootout in the garbage-can alley out back. Two Mexican mobsters had been blasted to death there by a trio of Hell's Angels. Before that, the roadhouse was just called Smiley's. Inside, Shotgun Alley was a broad, shadowy space so smoky and dark on a busy night you couldn't see one end of it from the other. To the right as you came in, there was a small half-circle stage against the back wall for the bands that played on weekends and Wednesdays. A small half-circle dance floor lay beyond that. Then across the front of the long pine bar were the shellacked tables surrounded by slat-backed chairs. Finally, all the way to the left by the bathrooms, there was a place set aside for pinball and video games and pool. It was a bar big enough to handle trouble, in other words. You could knock back beers all night in here and never meet another man's eyes. Some guy could get beaten senseless with a pool cue over by the men's room and the girl taking off her T-shirt onstage would just keep dancing the whole time, unaware in the swirling smoke. There were outlaw riders around most nights, but for the most part it wasn't a war zone. The gangs would just push their chairs together, drape their leather jackets over the backs patch outward, and no one even thought about walking through the barrier. What fights there were were brought on by the usual bullshit---old scores, women, some college kid mouthing off. Four or five bouncers patrolled the perimeter day and night to take care of that sort of thing. That said, there was one corner of the place that had a certain gnarly feel to it, an atmosphere, as if a killing were about to happen there, were always just on the brink of happening. It was the spot right beyond the far curve of the bar, along the wall past the pinball machines. It included maybe the last two or three barstools, a couple of tables, eight or nine chairs. A lot of the time these seats stood empty even when the rest of the place was packed. Other times Cobra sat there, and Mad Dog and Charlie and the rest and their old ladies. They weren't a gang exactly; they had no patch of their own, no charter, they claimed no territory. But the bikers who were in gangs knew them, knew one or another of them at least, or had heard of some of them. They called them the Outriders, and they left them alone. Nobody went near them. Nobody went into that section of the roadhouse even when the tables were empty. No one even looked over there when they passed by to get to the bathrooms or the machines. No one, that is, until this stranger came in. It was early on a Wednesday evening, not sunset yet. There were drinkers at some of the tables, but a lot of the bikers were still out fucking around on the peak. A guitar-and-harmonica country band was rehearsing in fits and starts onstage. There'd be a burst of music from time to time, and then the players would lapse back into conversation. For the most part, Shotgun Alley was quiet. Cobra was at his table in the corner with the blonde he called Honey. Shorty was there, too, with his girl Meryl, and Charlie with a broad he'd been banging off and on named Selene. Anyone who cared could've heard the stranger's Harley roar up outside. They could've heard it as its voice sank to a growl and quit. But no one cared. A few seconds later, the stranger himself pushed through the door. He stood easy at the edge of the place and looked around. He was a man with an air about him and a sense of himself: He was the hero of his own movie. By the looks of it right now, it was that western film where the gunfighter walks into the bar and the music stops and the cowpokes duck under the table because they know that trouble is coming. Trouble, it seemed, was what he was looking for as he paused there on the threshold. Physically, he was on the short side. Broad-shouldered, muscular. Handsome in the classical way with clipped sandy hair over a round face of fine features. When he took off his aviator shades, he had pale, nearly colorless eyes. He was wearing jeans, a black T-shirt, and a leather jacket. He was wearing an ironical expression, too, as if something struck him as funny. Or maybe everything struck him as funny---or maybe it all just struck him as too stupid not to laugh. After he'd been standing there a while, the bouncers glanced up at him from their stations at the bar or amid the tables. They were about to glance away, but they glanced again instead and took a longer study of him. They cursed to themselves and wished he hadn't come in. They'd seen that western movie, too. Hell, everyone in the place had seen that movie. The stranger went to the bar and quietly ordered a beer. Then he carried his drink over to Cobra's table and sat down. Copyright (c) 2004 by Andrew Klavan Excerpted from Shotgun Alley: A Weiss and Bishop Novel by Andrew Klavan All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.