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TENDERLOIN: A Sleeper Hayes Novel ~Court Haslett

TENDERLOIN is set in 1978 in San Francisco and is a fictional story that tells an actual crime story of that era.  Felt like I was reading ‘Dick Tracy’ books as it has a deft style that conveys a crime story with edginess and noir tendencies.  I could almost hear Garrison Keillor on the PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION reading this story as the P.I. ‘Guy Noir’, Although, it is not funny.  Great Tension!

The TENDERLOIN is a section of San Francisco and the buildings and bars mentioned in the story actually exist.  “Court Haslett has lived in SF for twenty years and conducted meticulous research in order to bring to life not only the gritty details and atmosphere of the TENDERLOIN, but all of 1970s SF.  He interviewed historians, former SF cops, the head of vice in the TENDERLIOIN during the 70s, and residents from that era.  The end result is a spot-on depiction of the iconic skid row culture of that time.” (Promotion material)

Do you remember the People’s Temple organized by the Reverend Jim Jones, who moved 900 of his followers to Guyana and plotted the Jonestown Massacre?  The group was founded in SF and had a building there.  Jim Jones had his fingers in a number of pots and added to the tumultuous, unruly, lawless time in the city’s history.  Lots of corruption going on and the mayor and the police departments were deeply involved.  A number of officials were murdered during this period.

Sleeper Hayes is the protagonist of the story and after the murder of a hooker and friend, whose sister was transported to Guyana, Hayes begins to unravel the mystery and the conspiracies taking place.  Boxing, music, poverty, and politics are a vital part of the story.  The pace is fast and the glimpses into SF’s history are captivating.

Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, INC. sent me a copy of this book for review: info@mzpr.com

“What a book TENDERLOIN is. This is a startling debut and surely the dawning of what is going to be a major writer. Just flat out delightful.” – Ken Bruen

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“…his work has been short-listed for the Faulkner-Wisdom Award.”

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