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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.

What listeners say about Fadeout

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    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.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong Narrator

The story was good, but the dry, mechanical narration left much to be desired. Story would have been much more enjoyable with a better narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Set in the 1970's, so much smoking

I would call this story a cozy since there was no graphic sex, violence, or language. It's a fairly melancholy book, filled with loss and yearning. You didn't get the necessary information to say "who done it" before Dave knew. The narrator did a nice job with the voices. He misread a few words such as tapped for taped, or it was wrong in the print version.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Looking forward to hanging out in this world

I’m surprised I have never come across this series or author before. So happy I found it. I enjoy the main character, Dave. It’s written and set in 1970 and it is authentically that time period. I also appreciate gay characters who are not over sexualized. It’s there when it needs to be, but does not define who Dave is. He’s good at his job and interesting, so that’s the real focus.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A solid mystery!

Fadeout by Joseph Hansen receives three stars from me. It's a solid mystery with good character development.

The reader for this Audiobook was Keith Szarabajka. Szarabajka has a gruff voice that added to film noir feel of this novel. His reading is straight forward with very few voices. He has some, but I wouldn't say voices was his forte. He reads well, and his calm just the facts ma'am tone really set a lovely tone for the novel.

What is interesting for me in this novel was the amount of character development we have in the detective. The novel starts like I like--a dead body (or a missing body as it is in this case), but the crime. I like that. Interestingly, Dave Brandstetter the main character isn't a police detective or a private investigator. He's an insurance investigator which was a first for me. Throughout the novel, Hansen gives more insight into his life and the death of his lover. I enjoyed that as well.

For me, there is an historical importance as to life for homosexuals during that time. Brandstetter seems to be openly gay. However, many of the people he meets do not know he is as he tends more masculine and not the idea of a homosexual at the time. It is interesting how he responds (or doesn't) when characters mention the victim was a fag etc. I appreciated the comfortableness that Brandstetter had in his sexuality (I know this is fiction, but still good role model at the time and now). There is no shame, no apologies. One scene stands out to me as a glimpse of gay life at the time. Brandstetter is interviewing a man who was a bit campy. Gaydar wasn't a term back them, but what the narrator says is that Campy man recognized Brandstetter as a gay man and this is how it was worded: He hated being tagged by this type of guy. I loved this "tagged" slang. What this scene reminds me is that the divisions we see in the gay world today were there years ago too.

Recommended: if you like a good mystery, I think you'll enjoy this book. If you are interested in GLBT lit, you will also enjoy this one.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Agree, better read Visually.

I just don't believe that this book is a good fit for this narrator. He's hypnotizing to the point I'm not actually listening. I listened to the first hour or so and have no idea who the characters are or what the story is about. Someone else mentioned that there are too many characters to keep track of, I can't even say that, I can't tell who is who. And I love being read to and have been an audible subscriber since 1999. The phrasing is very clipped, in short spoken bursts. It's like listening to a metronome. I reread the synopsis and the only thing that I can make out from the story is that a man may have faked his death by driving his car off a bridge. I can't tell who is married to who, who's kids belong to who, who's in love with who,I haven't even sussed out the main character is contentedly gay. I've never been so distracted by an audible book before. I may try to read this book on my kindle instead and try to come back to the audible version after I figure out what this book is all about. Or I may just skip it all together.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Finally at last….

A “gay” novel where, as in REAL life the main character being gay is just a part of his life!

If you’re over 40 you’ll relate hopefully. Not everyone is young, slim/ muscular and ummm, well endowed lol. No hot sex scenes but that’s ok with me.

I was trying to figure what era this took place and thanks to a couple of lines I had it nailed pretty close.

If you’re tired of gay drama and “coming of age” stories I think you’ll like this.

About the only thing I didn’t like was how he’d jump scenes talking about something you had to figure out.

The story was a bit thin and drawn out at times, BUT…it has its share of surprises too.

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The Whole Picture...

The M/M Genre is better for Joseph Hansen and his spectacular writing skills. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dave Brandstetter, insurance investigator extraordinaire. I loved the story and the narration. I look forward to listening to the others.

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Love all Joseph Hansen’s books

Characters become old friends, lovely to read about altruistic, loving, kind men doing good with integrity, and a smashing good crime solving story as well