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Publisher's Summary

From the start, nothing goes fright for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones. They are disciplined for use of excessive force. Grave Digger is shot and his death announced in a hoax radio bulletin. Bodies pile up faster than Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones can run. Yet, try as they might, they always seem to be one hot step behind the cause of all the mayhem: three million dollars' worth of heroine and a simple albino called Pinky.

©1966 Chester Himes (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Chester Himes is one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition. His command of nuances of character and dynamics of plot is preeminent among writers of crime fiction. He is a master craftsman." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
"Chester Himes is the great lost crime writer, as well a great American dissident novelist per se, and an essential witness to his times. Every one of his beyond-cool Harlem novels is cherished by every reader who finds it." (Jonathan Lethem)
"Hieronymus Bosch meets Miles Davis." ( The New York Times)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan
  • 06-28-18

The Heat's on, written by Chester Himes and read by Dion Graham

I read 'Rage in Harlem', the first in the Harlem detective series, a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I was keen therefore to try this entry in series.

I found that it contained lots of the same interesting contradictory characters, for example Sister Heavenly, a drug dealing ex- prostitute who keeps down a day job as a faith healer as a front for her illegal business. The story unfolds, with the focus alternating between a number of main characters between chapters with the timeline jumping occasionally in a style similar to early Tarantino films. Each of these main characters have evolving allegiances and rivalries towards each other and each is ultimately a slave to their desperation to attain the precious loot, described initially by Pinky, a learning disabled albino giant, as a 'treasure map' to buried treasure. The body count rises as the plot thickens and climaxes to a thrilling finale with an Agatha Christie's Poirot-style final interrogation.

The narrator, Dion Graham, reads in an engaging manner, with impressive range in his voices and accents.

This novel is an important work in the field of crime fiction and African American fiction and I would highly recommend this audio book to all readers.

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  • Martin
  • 04-16-17

The Heat's On

A great story , extremely well read. I enjoyed it all. Best of the Coffin Ed stories