Detective Art Topp has a wife...or rather, had a wife. It's really hard to tell. On one hand, he talks to her every day, and she talks back. On the other, he's still in shock from the day he walked into his Triple A Detective AAAgency office and found her lifeless body riddled with bullets, the catastrophic blowback from what should have been a simple investigation. Now he's promised his daughter he's going to figure out what happened. The only problem is, he's not much of a detective--just a washed-up middle-aged former telecom worker who went to the gun range too often, watched too many episodes of The Rockford Files, and suddenly decided it'd be fun to be a private eye. Or maybe there's another problem--he also knows it might have been his fault. And the cops are starting to wonder, too...
Gunmetal Blue showcases Joseph G. Peterson at his inimitable best. It's delightfully absurd and horrifyingly plausible, a sad and funny look at what happens when our airy fantasies become gritty reality, and when that reality in turn falls apart into madness and nightmares.
"One of the Windy City's best-kept secrets, Peterson looks to grab attention with this skillfully calibrated, oddly compelling novel about a grieving detective." - Kirkus Reviews
"A novel that starts out as a gentle comedy and gets (via shifting time lines and weird turns in the story) increasingly more absurdist, Peterson's latest is well written...it sports a story that taps into the reader's own insecurities and private fantasies. An unusual and very enjoyable take on the PI novel." - Booklist
"Set in a Chicago as gritty as anything James T. Farrell portrayed, Gunmetal Blue is a noir for our violent times." - Dave Newman, author of The Poem Factory and Two Small Birds
"With peculiar and endearing dialogue that piques curiosity, and circular storytelling that entrances, this deep meditation on grief, memory, longing and loneliness--disguised as a detective novel--will haunt you." - Bill Hillmann, author of The Old Neighborhood and Mozos
"A dark, poignant take on an everyman's grief and the scourge of American gun violence. The novel feels like a classic Hollywood noir film transported to contemporary times." - Leland Cheuk, author of Letters from Dinosaurs
"A quite outstanding piece of writing. . . . It is a tribute to Peterson's considerable skills as a writer that he is able to weave important philosophical themes into a gripping piece of prose." - Stephen Grant, author of Spanish Light