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Fadeout

The Dave Brandstetter Mysteries, Book 1
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Fadeout is the first of Joseph Hansen’s twelve classic mysteries featuring rugged Dave Brandstetter, an insurance investigator who is contentedly gay. 

When entertainer Fox Olson’s car plunges off a bridge in a storm, a death claim is filed, but where is Olson’s body? As Brandstetter questions family, fans, and detractors, he grows certain Olson is still alive and must find him before the would-be killer does. 

Suspenseful and wry, shrewd and deeply felt, Fadeout remains as fresh today as when it startled readers more than thirty years ago.

©1970, 2019 Joseph Hansen (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent writing with plot. location, characters

Everything about Joseph Hansen's writing is well beyond good! His characters, especially Dave himself are well drawn, realistic and even compelling. He nails it: southern CA, gay men in the 70s having grown up in the 40s, 50s and all the ingrained homophobia and racism. The plot is very interesting. I often guess the culprit way in advance: but not with Dave brandtstetter's cases.
I strongly recommend the series. I read them in the 80s and am delighted that they're now available as Audiobooks on Audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Overjoyed

I've been waiting for this series to go to audio for a long time. So glad to see that Keith Szarabajka has done it justice. No one writes mysteries like Joseph Hansen. No one.

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Probably best read visually

I’ve been an Audible reader — and fan — since almost its beginning and while I’ve read many, many reviews here, I’ve never posted one. Joseph Hansen created a likable, believable character in Dave Brandstetter (although in my opinion he smoked too much), but after listening to the first three books in this series, I honestly can’t recommend them as audiobooks. There were too many characters for me to keep track of and the abrupt transitions between scenes sometimes made me ask ‘Where are we now?’ The author included plenty of potential murderers, but by the time each story ended I cared more about getting finished and ending my confusion than guessing which character was guilty. If there were clues along the way, I missed most of them. That said, this series might be very entertaining to someone reading from the page, with the chance to easily flip back to check on locations and characters. I found the three books and their plots frustrating to follow by only listening.

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Rediscover a Great Series

Note: This is a series that is best read in order.

Joseph Hansen was a groundbreaking figure in the gay community of the '60s and '70s; he was a poet, a radio show host, and a damn good crime writer. His prose is crisp and his characterizations are compassionately drawn. This series has been out of print for a long while, and I am thrilled to see Blackstone is recording them (the first four are available as of this writing).

Keith Szarabajka's narration is outstanding...he perfectly captures Brandstetter's tone, while also clearly defining the voices of all the other characters. Distinction of character is especially important in a mystery series, where each book comes with a relatively new cast. Szarabajka distinguishes each voice without tipping into caricature or stereotype, which is an impressive balance.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in (and augmented respect for) crime fiction, and I hope Hansen's work gets the attention it deserves. In my view, Brandstetter belongs in the company of Lew Archer and Travis McGee. Now here's hoping this series reappears in print sometime soon....