Shaft’s Revenge

Author: David F. Walker
SHAFT is ™ and © 2016 Ernest Tidyman
US/UK: Dynamite Entertainment, 10 February 2016 (1-60690-856-1) [paperback]; 288pp
Editor: Hannah Elder
Cover Painting: Francesco Francavilla
Book Design: Jason Ullmeyer

Dedication: Dedicated to Ernest Tidyman, who gave us Shaft when the world needed him most.

Special thanks to Chris Clark-Tidyman for her support in keep John Shaft alive.

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Like an unstoppable force of nature, private detective John Shaft is back with a vengeance. Ernest Tidyman’s iconic detective returns in the first original Shaft novel in more than forty years, and he’s as bad as ever. When the Godfather of crime in Harlem reaches out to Shaft for a favor, the hardboiled detective finds himself caught in a web of violence and murder. No one is safe as the bullets start to fly and the bodies start to drop, leaving Shaft with only two options: kill or be killed.

From the writer of the award-winning graphic novel Shaft: A Complicated Man, comes the critically acclaimed return of the black private dick that’s a sex machine with all the chicks. It’s a two-fisted tale of revenge as Shaft cuts a bloody path through city, settling old scores and faces the demons of his past.

CHARACTERS
JOHN SHAFT, Private Investigator
LINWOOD “RED LINNY” MORTON, Harlem gangster
LT. VIC ANDEROZZI, NYPD detective
HARRY TOWNES, NYPD detective
STAN KOBLANSKI, NYPD detective
BAMMA BROOKS, Persons’ right-hand man
NORVILLE “KNOCKS” PERSONS, Harlem crime lord
MOSES MOSELEY, Old Harlem gangster
BIG JUNIOR, Red Linny’s hood
ABRAHAM SCHER, Persons’ attorney
DR. STEVE LUCENTE, Anderozzi’s nephew
VITO RUTIGLIANO, Anderozzi’s nephew
ARCHIE EDMONDS, NYPD detective Internal Affairs
TOM SULLIVAN, NYPD detective
OFFICER LES MOSELY, NYPD
RICARDO “LEFTY” LOPEZ, proprietor US Army Navy Surplus Store
ROLLIE NICKERSON, actor and part-time barman
MILDRED, Shaft’s answering service
CLARENCE “COOKIE” VENABLE, Persons’ guard
APRIL CARMICHAEL, Nurse at Harlem Hospital

NOTES

  • Originally made available in 6-parts as a Smartphone download via QR code through the monthly Shaft comic book published between December 2014 and May 2015.
  • Set between Tidyman’s SHAFT’S BIG SCORE! (1972) and SHAFT HAS A BALL (1973).
  • We learn Shaft’s father’s name was John Quentin Smith, known as “Quick Johnny” and his mother’s was Hazel Shaft.

OPENING LINE
Shaft had no idea how many women he had been with. Sometimes, usually when he was with one of them, he’d try to figure out how many there had been.

SHAFT QUOTES
“Listen up, motherfuckers. I’ve got three guns and enough bullets to kill y’all at least three times each!” Shaft lied. Depending on his luck and his aim, he might not even have had enough bullets to kill anyone.

BOTTOM LINE
The book is a fast-paced read set out in short chapters and populated with interesting characters and is an excellent re-introduction to Shaft in prose form. The climax may feel a little anti-climactic in that it leaves the story open for a follow-up, which I hope David Walker will provide us with sometime soon, but this remains an impressive return.

REVIEWS
“There’s a huge amount of swearing, plenty of shoot outs & many familiar characters from Ernest Tidyman’s original novels. It doesn’t work as well as the author’s recent graphic novel Shaft: A Complicated Man, but it’s still good entertainment.” – Bill Lynas, GoodReads

“Shaft became a sympathetic and three-dimensional character for the first time for me in this novel, and I ended up finding myself rooting for him to learn the truth about his father and close that dark and painful chapter on his life.” – 

“David F. Walker does an estimable job of capturing Tidyman’s third-person style, and there’s plenty of sex and violence to be had in these pages…which is exactly what any Shaft fan would expect. The ending of Shaft’s Revenge leaves enough loose ends to tie up in a sequel; let’s hope Walker writes one.” – J. Kingston Pierce, Kirkus, 6 December 2016