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Publisher's Summary

Webster Fillmore Goodhue has found temporary work as one of the mop-up crew for the Los Angeles County crime division. In other words, he cleans up grisly crime scenes for the cops. When the daughter of a recent Malibu suicide victim asks for his help cleaning up after her brother has gotten into a little trouble, every cell in Web's brain is telling him to turn her down. But she's very attractive, and before he knows it, he's well on his way to getting his face kicked in, facing down some gun-toting LA cowboys, and hanging on for dear life. And that's only the beginning.
©2009 Charles Huston; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"One of his generation's finest and hippest talents..." (Publishers Weekly)
"[ runaway freight that feels like a combination of William Burroughs and James Ellroy....Fiercely original...." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Alan
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 01-19-09


Do get this book if you want a modern, well-written, funny and insightful book about a man dealing with a terrible trauma. I've not finished this yet, but have already laughed out loud more than once. I am enjoying it!

Don't get this book if words like a**h***, m*****f*****, etc. will bother you, as this book is full of such language. The use of the language is part of the books "charm" for me, as the characters are from the generation who are so used to such language that the meaning is lessened.

Me? I recommend this book!!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Slow start reflects Webster's mood...

A friend recommended this book. About 1/3 of the way in, I was tempted to say "goodbye a**h***" (the main character acknowledges that he is one) and move on. But I hung in there, and boy am I glad I did! Before the mid-point, things really started to pick up and pieces began to fall into place so you could better understand characters' motivations and see the "big picture". Web's acerbic wit makes an often depressing story, downright funny at times, and much more palatable. Now I'm looking forward to checking out Huston's other books and hoping they are as good as this one...

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • United States
  • 03-04-09

Sarcastic, acidic, profane, loved it!

I loved this book and have recommended it to friends. The main character's sarcastic, acidic dialogue is a hoot! As almost every other character tells him he's a as***le. I originally didn't like the narrator, but he grew on me. I didn't care for his main character reading nearly as much as the secondary characters. I thought he did great at the secondary parts.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great characters

Huston has created a great cast of characters but I found the story to be somewhat lacking. It was ok but could have been so much better with the interesting characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Winston Salem, NC, United States
  • 10-02-10

Hang in there

Don't be tempted to give up on this book 1/3 of the way in. The characters are quirky and interesting, and eventually there is a plot, though it gets a bit heavy-handed at the end. If you are offended by foul language, then be forewarned that this book is a tsunami of obscenities.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Giovanni
  • Fredericksburg, VA, USA
  • 12-30-09

Great Book

I really enjoyed this booked. It was very entertaining and funny. Charlie Huston does a great job of reviling the main character's past while keeping the plot moving. I would definitely recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best Book I've Heard All Year

This is both a fun and a thought provoking book. The writing is crisp but kudos to the reader who makes the dialogue come alive.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I don't know about John Huston

or his two other novels. DUH!!!
Hard to compare this to his others because they're all great. CHARLIE Huston has no bad books. The narrator is one of the best, but I will admit the story starts kind of slow and evolves in fits and starts, but I loved it. His best books aren't on Audible, go get them all and enjoy.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great ride. Audible: get Hank Thompson series!!

I noticed that this audible book is no longer available. What a shame. I say buy the book. It was my intro to Huston. And hooked I was. Straight on to the Joe Pitt series, and finally Sleepless--another stand alone novel. I have read all of Huston's full-length novels, including the paper versions of the Hank Thompson trilogy. Problem is, now that I've exhausted all Huston's books, it's tough to find other mystery writing that grabs me as much as Huston's. (OK...the original Millenium Trilogy, except they're nothing alike). I would read another Adrian McKinty or Tana French in a heartbeat, but have read all those too, some more than once. But there is something very unique about Huston. His plotting is very good and often graphically violent, his writing is witty, dark, cynical and a bit twisted. His main characters are complex, very screwed up, and often at the whim of bizarre circumstances. His books, to me, are hard to put down once started. And this book, The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, was what started it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

New tradition hard boiled stories

I liked this story well enough to pass it on to some people who were living the tale. Keep up the edgy commentary on life,
( I like his Vamyers too)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful