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The Incredible Double

Clay Blackburn has two jobs. Most of the time he’s your average bisexual book scout in Berkeley. Some of the time he’s…not quite a private detective.

Clay Blackburn has two jobs. Most of the time he’s your average bisexual book scout in Berkeley. Some of the time he’s…not quite a private detective He doesn’t have a license, he doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have a business card–but people come to him for help and in helping them he comes across more than his fair share of trouble. And trouble finds him seeking the fountain of youth, the myth of paradise, the pie in the sky…The Incredible Double.

Clay fights his way through corporate shills, Berkeley loonies, and CEO thugs on his way to understanding the secret of The Double. Follow his journey to a state of Grace, epiphanies, perhaps the meaning of life. This follow-up to The Chandler Apartments, red meat to charter members of the Clay Blackburn cult, is also an excellent introduction to the series. Hill brings back Blackburn’s trusty, if goofy sidekicks: Marvin, best friend and lefty soldier of fortune; Bailey Dao, ex-FBI agent; Dino Centro, as smarmy as he is debonair. He also introduces a new cast of bizarre characters: drug casualty turned poet Loose Bruce, conspiracy theorist Larry Sasway, and Grace, the Tallulah Bankhead of Berkeley. Together–and sometimes not so together–they team up to foil Drugstore Wally, the CEO with an evil plan.

“Owen Hill’s breathless, sly and insouciant mystery novels are full of that rare Dawn Powel-ish essence: fictional gossip. I could imagine popping in and out of his sexy little Chandler building apartment a thousand times and never having the same cocktail buzz twice. Poets have all the fun, apparently.”
–Jonathan Lethem author of The Fortress of Solitude

“Guillaume Appollinaire and Edward Sanders would feast on this thriller of the real Berkeley and its transsexual CIA agents and doppelgangers staging Glock shoot-outs. A mystery of contingencies centering in the reeking Chandler Arms and the quicksand of Moe’s Books.” –Michael McClure

“Is this Berkeley noir? I’d call it lustily readable. And such reading set me to thinking about tone and that to get it right is a a saintly gift (which Owen Hill has) of hearing and lavishly staying on one wiggly and implausible note throughout passages of poetic lore, pretty hot sex, action (of all things!) and multi-musings on “the life” of book writing, book selling and humbly accepting oneself as condemned to love the many leaves we turn with aimless passion before we ourselves rattle and blow away down these raunchy beloved streets.” –Eileen Myles, author of The Importance of Being Iceland

Owen Hill lives in Berkeley, California. He is the author of seven collections of poetry and Loose Ends, a book of short stories. He was awarded the Howard Moss Residency for poetry at Yaddo in 2005. The Chicago Tribune called his first mystery novel, The Chandler Apartments one of the best mysteries of 2002. In his Tribune review Dick Adler wrote, “Berkeley, California poet Owen Hill captures the taste and texture of the yeasty street and bed life of his native turf with an eye that manages to be fresh and appropriately amoral.”

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