On the shady side of LA in 1961, African-American private eye Easy Rawlins can go places a white detective cannot. So when Saul Lynx needs a missing woman found, he hires Easy to do his dirty work. Elizabeth Eady - ‘Black Betty’ - is as dark as midnight and just as beautiful. An old acquaintance of Easy’s when he was a child back in Texas, she had been working for a rich white woman in Beverley Hills, but left her job with no forwarding address.
When magistrate Matteo Arconti’s namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazza Clodio, it’s a coded warning to the authorities – a clear message of defiance and intimidation. Commissioner Alec Blume, all too familiar with Rome’s criminal underclass, knows little of the Calabrian mafia currently under investigation by the magistrate.
In 1964 Kitty Genovese was murdered on the street near her apartment in New York. As many as 38 people may have witnessed the attack, and yet not one of them came to her aid. In Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn has fictionalised the events of that night, crafting a series of stories about the victim, the killer, and the bystanders: the terrified Vietnam draftee; the woman who thinks she’s killed a child; the former soldier planning suicide and the man who saves him.