Dirty Old Town: A Shane Cleary Mystery Book #1 by Gabriel Valjan

Roma Series Book 1 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 2 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 3 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 4 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 5 Review - HERE
The Company Files #1 Review - HERE
The Company Files #2 Review - HERE
Five Before Roma Review - HERE

Synopsis - 

Shane Cleary, a PI in a city where the cops want him dead, is tough, honest and broke. When he's asked to look into a case of blackmail, the money is too good for him to refuse, even though the client is a snake and his wife is the woman who stomped on Shane's heart years before. When a fellow vet and Boston cop with a secret asks Shane to find a missing person, the paying gig and the favor for a friend lead Shane to an arsonist, mobsters, a shady sports agent, and Boston's deadliest hitman, the Barbarian. With both criminals and cops out to get him, the pressure is on for Shane to put all the pieces together before time runs out.

Review - 

As you can tell by all the links above to other reviews, I truly enjoy Gabriel Valjan's novels. This book, however is different from the others. Previous books featured intrigue on an international scale and more politics and history.  Dirty Old Town is instead a hard boiled mystery set on the tough streets of Boston in the 70's.

The main character is a private detective - a former police officer who had to leave the force for doing the right thing. He stood up for a victim's family instead of protecting the cop who killed an innocent teen.  He is persona non grata to his former colleagues. They would be glad to see him dead. So he has to try to stay under the radar as he has no idea when they will strike.

Out of money and desperate for work, and against his better judgement, he agrees to take a case for his ex-wife's new husband, a man of questionable business practices.  Right from the beginning, he has a bad feeling about this.  The case is murky and there are many important details left out that he needs to find the truth. As the story progresses, the question arises - is he being set up to take a fall?

The plot is twisted and filled with all the elements you'd want in this genre - mobsters, crooked cops, hidden agendas, a sexy ex-wife, A shady sports agent, a secret sex club, a scary killer for hire and a pet cat with an attitude. A great escapist read.

Buy the Book - Amazon

Meet the Author - 
2015 interview on his journey as an author HERE!
2020 update author interview HERE

Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series and the Company Files with Winter Goose Publishing. His second book in the Company Files, The Naming Game, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery in 2020 at Malice Domestic, and for an Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original at Bouchercon. Dirty Old Town, the first of five books in the Shane Cleary series from Level Best Books, was published in January 2020. Valjan's short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. The author has been listed for the Fish Prize three times, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram