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Jack Liffey’s first case, tracking down a missing woman in East L.A. But nothing here is what it seems, and Jack is plunged into a violent world of corrupt developers and local politicos.



Searching for the daughter of a fading Hollywood star, Jack Liffey finds himself falling in love with her outsize screen image and questioning the impact of “celebrity” on his own consciousness. A devastating earthquake brings his search to its climax.


Jack Liffey goes after a naive high schooler drawn into the world of L.A.’s cults, but then the real doom merchants, corrupt chemical corporations, unleash a terror that could kill half the city.


Jack is drawn deep into Orange County’s Vietnamese community where a beautiful young woman has disappeared. The exotic realities and the complex alliances of Little Saigon draw Jack Liffey into danger—but the danger is soon magnified when he faces a troubled young man who believes he has an exotic toadstone in his head and has a chilling fear that everyone is about to laugh at him.


A search for a missing boy carries Jack Liffey out of his element into the African-American community of South L.A. just as a new rebellion is about to erupt. His teen-age daughter is forced to come to his rescue.


Four Persian boys are missing from an elite high school in L.A. and Jack must track them down. They have run away to rediscover their Moslem roots, but get caught up with violent terrorists.


Nursing a collapsed lung, Jack is drawn back to his hometown of San Pedro to become entangled with Croatian fishermen, a destroyed Japanese fishing village, a Green Beret Vet who fancies himself a Samurai, and a stunning family surprise.


A young Indian girl has disappeared from a tiny reservation in the Owens Valley, swallowed up by the seedy underbelly of L.A. Jack must go find her, while worrying about his own daughter Maeve, who has been wounded in a drive-by shooting.


A young Korean-American film student has disappeared. In tracing her radical group, Jack runs afoul of Homeland Security. He finds himself sent by “extraordinary rendition” to a sinister private security compound in the desert. His mate Gloria, who is looking for him, plus armed radicals and SWAT teams—all come together in a violent desert lightning storm.


Maeve goes missing while she and Jack are in the Central Valley town of Bakersfield. It turns out the police are rounding up troublemakers, that they call Satanists. Hysteria. Book burnings. The pastor of a mega-church is all set to exorcise Maeve of her demons. All hell is about to break loose!


Jack is confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or speak, but when an old friend calls to ask help finding his son, Maeve intercepts the case. She is led to L.A.’s Skid Row (“The Nickel”) and gets caught up in a battle between thugs hired by a gentrifying builder and the desperate occupants of a tenement, about to be made homeless. Jack is tossed helpless into Skid Row and soon Maeve, Jack, Gloria his partner and other are trapped in a burning building and flee to the roof, where rescue becomes touch and go.


Jack is hired to find Blue, the missing teenage daughter of his ex-wife’s best friend. As he investigates, Jack discovers a turf war between rich teenage surfers and the Mexican day-laborers who are camping in the ravines between the mansions where they work as gardeners and houseboys. The turf war draws in arsonists, angry bikers, border vigilantes and Jack’s daughter Maeve, who once again puts herself at risk to help her father.


Jack Liffey is hired to find a missing movie star…his daughter is in trouble at college…his partner is off on an affair…a Colombian drug gang is running wild in L.A…and an angry Jamaican is arriving for revenge. Jack finds it all… A Little Too Much.


A wildfire is out of control. Jack hunts for a missing Chinese-American girl in the midst of rising racial tensions and the hidden machinations of two oil baron brothers who try to brew up their own Tea Party.


“Jack Liffey is a walking conscience, a bruised crusader who remains an unerring advocate of doing things the hard way and on behalf of the little guy. There’s a lot packed into this ambitious book, including examinations of both antiterrorist hysteria and the dangers posed by high-minded ideals. The intellectual journey is every bit as keen as we’ve come to expect. Fans of thinking-man’s detective fiction will find much to ponder.”
Booklist starred review

Dangerous Games is another breed of crime fiction . . . with a head on its shoulders and some purpose beyond mere titillation. It’s common for authors of crime fiction to borrow techniques from movie-makers. In his episodic new novel, Shannon crosscuts between fast-moving parallel plots that sometimes graze each other as they race along but don’t converge fully until the story’s explosive finale. Think Magnolia or 21 Grams in terms of multiple plot strands—and existential ambitions.”
The Boston Globe
The Orange Curtain is both brilliant and readable (not always the same thing.)”
—Robert B. Parker

“With his sixth Jack Liffey book, Shannon’s series is still on an upward trajectory. Between crime-solving and parenting dilemmas, Shannon offers sage ruminations on belief, belonging and responsibility. Liffey is a terrific character—smart, funny, sad, and a keen observer of social strata and the world at large. His journey after the truth is realistically messy, and we’re with him every step of the way. If only all mystery novels were this good.”
Booklist starred review

“Shannon’s entertaining and well-written books, with their investigations of crime, corruption, shady deals, disaster capitalism and fundamentalist culture constitute nothing short of a social history of modern day Los Angeles.”
Crime Time

Terminal Island is probably the most heartfelt book yet about the socially conscious, emotionally fragile, increasingly physically vulnerable Liffey—a most unlikely action hero whose feats of intuition, verbosity and personal empathy make an interesting contrast to the exploits of his hard-boiled peers.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Shannon dishes out L.A. local color dipped deep in moral sauce. He throws in etchings of our ethnic geography, nutty sects of idealists manipulated by grim fanatics, a psychiatrist as demented as but less homicidal than other bigots, members of the local Iranian diaspora with kids liable to turn into pure-of-heart zealots and all kinds of befuddled bods, each with his own liturgy, incantations, and illusions. Liffey is accident-prone, depressed, mixed up and fun to hear.”
The Los Angeles Times

“Shannon explores the deep, sometimes deadly divide that separates haves and have-nots in his rewarding 11th mystery to feature 60-year-old Jack Liffey, who specializes in locating missing children. Effectively told in part through letters written by a young Mexican immigrant and others written by a scared teenage surfer to his dad, this installment highlights Shannon’s ability to sharply render subtle shades of right and wrong.”
Publishers Weekly

“Though seedy characters abound, Liffey prefers to look on the bright side: ‘I’d like to believe everybody’s just an inch from okay…. A little less this, a little more that.’ The world Liffey inhabits is far from okay, but watching him struggle to make a small difference is big entertainment.”
Publishers Weekly

“In this era of mealy mouthed and dumbed-down political posturing, Shannon dodges dry, empty rhetoric by fleshing out every issue… He puts real meat on the bones of ideas and real lives on the line and, as always, he asks hard questions that call for real answers… Things are more than balanced by Jack’s very real and very human flaws, and a swirling, nightmare climax in the choking, dusty industrial hell of Terminal Island that just has to be experienced. Still, the real treat here, as always in the Liffey books, is the sympathetic intelligence and relentless honesty that John Shannon brings to his courageous, ongoing study of a man and his city.”
January Magazine
“A gentle soul with an angry spirit, Liffey, the finder of lost children, finds himself exploring the physical and psychic terrain of Southern California, crossing the weird frontiers between rich and poor, between native born and recently immigrated. He is loyal to lost causes, even his own. With a hero as brainy, compassionate, and conflicted as this, the only real mystery is why these books aren’t bestsellers.”
Booklist starred review