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The Jook

Gary Phillips writes tough and gritty parables about life and death on the mean streets–a place where sometimes just surviving is a noble enough cause.

Zelmont Raines has slid a long way since his ability to jook, to out maneuver his opponents on the field, made him a Super Bowl winning wide receiver, earning him lucrative endorsement deals and more than his share of female attention. But Zee hasn’t always been good at saying no, so a series of missteps involving drugs, a paternity suit or two, legal entanglements, shaky investments and recurring injuries have virtually sidelined his career.
That is until Los Angeles gets a new pro franchise, the Barons, and Zelmont has one last chance at the big time he dearly misses. Just as it seems he might be getting back in the flow, he’s enraptured by Wilma Wells, the leggy and brainy lawyer for the team–who has a ruthless game plan all her own. And it’s Zelmont who might get jooked.

“Phillips, author of the acclaimed Ivan Monk series, takes elements of Jim Thompson (the ending), black-exploitation flicks (the profanity-fueled dialogue), and Penthouse magazine (the sex is anatomically correct) to create an over-the-top violent caper in which there is no honor, no respect, no love, and plenty of money. Anyone who liked George Pelecanos’ King Suckerman is going to love this even-grittier take on many of the same themes.” –Wes Lukowsky, Booklist

“Enough gritty gossip, blistering action and trash talk to make real life L.A. seem comparatively wholesome.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Gary Phillips writes tough and gritty parables about life and death on the mean streets–a place where sometimes just surviving is a noble enough cause. His is a voice that should be heard and celebrated. It rings true once again in The Jook, a story where all of Phillips’ talents are on display.” –Michael Connelly, author of the Harry Bosch books

Gary Phillips’ 25 years of community activism in Los Angeles on issues ranging from affordable housing to gang intervention to neighborhood empowerment served him well when he began writing crime novels. He has worked as a union organizer, political campaign coordinator, radio talk show host and teacher. He has written op-ed pieces for the L.A. Times Magazine, San Francisco Examiner, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald and other newspapers. His novels include: The Perpetrators (2002), Bangers (2003) and the seven books in the Ivan Monk and Martha Chainey series. Gary has also contribued to and edited many short stories collections such as: The Cocaine Chronicles, Politics Noir, Orange County Noir, and The Darker Mask.

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