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Slab Town- A murderous romp in wartime Portland

In the Christmas chill of 1944, Big Joe Welk is the hardcore crime boss in Oregon. He runs the rackets and the cronies who put the skim in his pocket. But he’s got enemies with a score to settle, and they’re willing to kill to make Joe pay.

Miles Brodie is just a bargain rate lawyer handling divorces for Joe’s Tiki Bar girls. He’s barely squeezing rent money from his third-rate law practice when Big Joe hires him to find out who’s knocking off his pals. Before a full-blown turf war breaks out, Brodie signs on and follows the blood trail to find out who’s trying to shut his client down and take over the Portland rackets.

Everybody from City Hall to the cop on the street knows a hustler needs an insurance policy. But it’s not the kind Prudential Life sells. Somebody is cooking the books, keeping payoffs and bribes strictly off the radar to cover their bets if Big Joe ever tumbles to the double cross.

Joe’s bookkeeper Melba Malone knows how to keep secrets. How much are they worth to the rat who wants to deal him or herself in? When bodies start to fall, Brodie feels like the last cardboard duck in a carnival shoot. Caught between his greedy ex-wife, crooked cops and a deadly client, Brodie’s left holding the losing hand.

To purchase your copy, please choose one of the links below:

Powell's Books
Barnes and Noble-Hardcover

Alibris- Hardcover


“A humorous, noir tale that relishes the private sleuth and the Bogie
snarl. Slab Town’s tough-guy hero is a member of the bar. Goes to show
you a lawyer, even a bad one, can solve a murder case with a little help
from a gum-chewing, shapely secretary who really runs the show. All the
punchy, cut-out characters are drawn with a dose of comic reality, and when
the murder victims pile up, you’re glad it takes a few hundred pages to sort
it all out.”
Robert Pennhale
The Columbia Journal Express



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