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Publisher's Summary

Race and civil rights in 1963 Los Angeles provide a powerful backdrop in Gary Phillips’ riveting historical crime novel about an African American forensic photographer seeking justice for a friend—perfect for fans of Walter Mosley, James Ellroy, and George Pelecanos. 

Los Angeles, 1963. African American Korean War veteran Harry Ingram earns a living as a news photographer and occasional process server: chasing police radio calls and dodging baseball bats. With racial tensions running high on the eve of Martin Luther King’s Freedom Rally, Ingram risks becoming a victim at every crime scene he photographs. 

When Ingram hears about a deadly automobile accident on his police scanner, he recognizes the vehicle described as belonging to his good friend and old army buddy, a White jazz trumpeter. The LAPD declares the car crash an accident, but when Ingram develops his photos, he sees signs of foul play. Ingram feels compelled to play detective, even if it means putting his own life on the line. Armed with his wits, his camera, and occasionally his Colt .45, “One-Shot” Harry plunges headfirst into the seamy underbelly of LA society, tangling with racists, leftists, gangsters, zealots, and lovers, all in the hope of finding something resembling justice for a friend. 

Master storyteller and crime fiction legend Gary Phillips has One-Shot Harry with fascinating historical cameos, wisecracks, tenderness, and an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride of a plot with consequences far beyond one dead body. The Los Angeles of the 1960s comes to vivid life through the eyes and lens of Harry Ingram himself, a brave and relatable new protagonist well worth rooting for.

©2022 Gary Phillips (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about One-Shot Harry

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Mediocre, shallow & trite, though it does have a lot of interesting facts about LA in the early 60’s.

Too many coincidences & outrageously unlikely fight sequences; would’ve made a good short story with an experienced editor

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Bad ending

The story line was hard to follow and the book ended abruptly. I purchased this book based on a NPR recommendation. Very disappointing. I never write a review so that should tell you something.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-22

A fantastic listen

A wonderful historical crime novel set against the backdrop of the civil rights era considering race and class issues of the time. A great story, very well written and narrated. I look forward to more from the author or similar novels