The fourth Simeon I wrote, Incinerator, is the fifth to go online because I didn't like it so much when I wrote it. But when I revised it for ebook publication, I discovered that a lot of what I hadn't liked actually works fine.

As the publisher put it at the time, in slightly overheated flap copy, “in this book, Grist comes up against his most terrifying adversary, a madman who's setting fire to the homeless. As Simeon is drawn into the case . . . he realizes that the Incinerator has a huge advantage. Somewhere, years ago, the two of them met, and the Incinerator has been nursing hatred and resentment for years. Now, as helpless people burst into flame on Skid Row, Simeon has to scour the wastelands of Los Angeles, and his own past, looking for the face of a killer.”

Oh, well.

Some reviews:

“A skittering roller-coaster ride . . . one of the most intriguing of the new private eyes.” Booklist

“An excellent job – when it comes to making a quick run up Topanga Canyon in the 1990s, Hallinan has the top down and he's ready to go.” Chicago Tribune

“A generous and inventive writer . . . Hallinan has talent and skill. Simeon Grist is a classic California hard-boiled detective, beautifully playing the role of knight errant.” The Drood Review

“Timely, suspenseful, and exciting.” Sidney Sheldon