At once grotesquely comic and unflinchingly violent, Blind Man With a Pistol is the final entry in Chester Himes's trailblazing Harlem Detectives series.
New York is sweltering in the summer heat, and Harlem is close to the boiling point. To Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, at times it seems as if the whole world has gone mad. Trying, as always, to keep some kind of peace—their legendary nickel-plated Colts very much in evidence—Coffin Ed and Grave Digger find themselves pursuing two completely different cases through a maze of knifings, beatings, and riots that threaten to tear Harlem apart.
About the Author
Chester (Bomar) Himes began his writing career while serving in the Ohio State Penitentiary for armed robbery from 1929 - 1936. His account of the horrific 1930 Penitentiary fire that killed over three hundred men appeared in Esquire in 1932 and from this Himes was able to get other work published. From his first novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945), Himes dealt with the social and psychological repercussions of being black in a white-dominated society. Beginning in 1953, Himes moved to Europe, where he lived as an expatriate in France and Spain. There, he met and was strongly influenced by Richard Wright. It was in France that he began his best-known series of crime novels---including Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965) and Run Man Run (1966)---featuring two Harlem policemen Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. As with Himes's earlier work, the series is characterized by violence and grisly, sardonic humor.
“A sensual, surreal, cartoonishly violent and breathtakingly bawdy comic universe. . . . A raw but bracing locale . . . bursting with life and sadness, joyously bitter as well as unabashedly sensual.”
—Los Angeles Times
“One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius.” —Walter Mosley
“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.
“Their deft mixture of race relations and police-work are as entertaining as sociology as they are as mysteries.” —The Boston Globe