Damnation Street Review
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Ex-cop Scott Weiss is San Francisco’s best private detective. But in Damnation Street, his one weakness—a weakness for women (more specifically, the working kind)—catches up with him. When he gets a call from a beautiful young prostitute named Julie, he knows he’s got to do whatever he can to help her.

Julie had the misfortune of meeting up with a man who calls himself John Foy—an enigmatic professional assassin known to Weiss only as the Shadowman. After their brief and violent encounter, Foy decided that he was in love with Julie—and that they were meant to be together. Afraid that he’d find her and eventually kill her, Julie left town. Knowing Weiss’s uncanny ability to track anyone, anywhere, Julie called him, begging him not to try to find her—because if Weiss tracked her down, the Shadowman would be right behind him.

Ignoring Julie’s plea, Weiss leaves San Francisco behind, leaving no way for anyone—not anyone at his agency, and not the Shadowman—to track him. Because he knows that either he’ll find Julie or the Shadowman will—and it’s best for her if he beats the Shadowman to her. But when Bishop, the ex-con who owes Weiss his life, learns that Weiss is in danger, he decides to join in the hunt, too—to find Weiss and help him fight the killer who’s tracking him.

Damnation Street is a dark and seedy and expertly written tale, reminiscent of the old-fashioned, hard-boiled detective novel, with the slightest twist of classic Western. It may take place in a time of computers and cell phones, but it has an ageless feel. Filled with whores and assassins and tough guys with lots of guns, Damnation Street is mysterious and suspenseful—and I had a hard time reading it without seeing it play out in black and white with slashes of color and gruesome, overdone characters, straight out of Sin City.

While there are a few scenes that could have been cut short (especially a long, drawn-out scene with Bishop battling a crew of martial artists), Damnation Street is packed with the kind of intense action that will have your heart racing. The flawed-good-guy characters are spectacular, and the story, though not without a couple of holes, is addictive. You won’t be able to put it down until the last dizzying battle is over.

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