ffb: Gone No Forwarding by Joe Gores

this is the 141st in my series of posts on forgotten or seldom read books

Gone, No Forwarding by Joe Gores, Random House, 1978 hardcover, private eye  –  3rd DKA (Mysterious Press edition shown)

“On the way from Harlem, Bart Heslip switched cabs three times and then caught a plane from Newerk because he was afraid they might be watching Kennedy and La Guardia.”

gone no forAnd so my set of three Joe Gores reviews come to an end. This third DKA novel, like the second, begins shortly after the previous one ends. A month or so has passed, and the work of repossessing cars and tracing missing persons continues. Then The California State License Bureau subpoenas Dan Kearney to appear at a disciplinary hearing. At stake is his private detective license. It appears someone in the State License Bureau has it in for Kearney & Associates. Who and why?

According to the state, a Kearney & Associates employee mishandled funds. The employee who took the cash and gave the receipt is now dead, so DKA must find other testimony to the facts. There’s no doubt the whole thing is a set-up, but only seven people were in the office that rainy afternoon just before 5:00 p.m. Most of them have disappeared, thus the Gone, No Forwarding of the title.

The search intensifies when it becomes clear that Kearney’s staff aren’t the only ones looking for the potential witnesses, particularly a black woman who left Kearney employment as a clerk for the fast money of prostitution before she completely disappeared from the bay area. These other searchers are ruthless, and don’t mind killing if it gets them closer to their goal.

Some plot elements from the first two books in the series continue in Gone, No Forwarding in such a way that I can’t help but think of this as a trilogy. There is sufficient continuity between these books that they could have been published between one set of covers without causing the least discomfort to the reader at the ending of one and the beginning of the next, and this book brings things to a very satisfactory conclusion while introducing elements of the next  – very good indeed – book in the series, 32 Cadillacs.

Joe Gores writing is crisp and doesn’t get in the way of the story. I recently read a comment from someone who said Gores’ books are “light”. If the term is used as an antonym to “dark” I could agree, but not if the term was used to indicate the books are fluff. No, there’s no gore splattered across the pages, but these books are about the people and the process of finding people and answering questions, and they do that as well as any I’ve read. Read all three back to back and I think you’ll agree.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

More Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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6 Responses to ffb: Gone No Forwarding by Joe Gores

  1. Todd Mason says:

    The first Gores novel I read, twenty years after first reading such tough stories as “Goodbye, Pops” and “Watch for It” as a young kid…and “The Second Coming” helped shape my thinking about capital punishment when I was about nine. Yeah, a real lightweight, that Joe Gores.

    Ever note how many dunderheads there are around, sometimes? Perhaps on another day, that commenter would’ve said something with some bearing on reality.

    Good choice.

  2. Thanks Richard, really enjoyed your profiles of Gores and as a result have now ordered a couple of his books including the apparently ultra hard Interface – will report back!

  3. Like Sergio, I’m enjoying your reviews of these Joe Gores books. Top-notch stuff.

  4. Richard says:

    Todd, good observations. Yep, I notice the dunderhead population, but try to ignore them, especially the ones who are politicians. Heh. Gores was a terrific writer. I like 32 Cadillacs and Cons, Grifts and Scams. But then he wrote me into that latter one.

  5. Richard says:

    It’s too bad more people don’t know of, and read, Gores’ work. I think he’s right up there with Pronzini.

  6. Pingback: April 2014: Classic crime in the blogosphere | Past Offences Classic Crime Fiction

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