I picked up used copies of two novels the other day by an author I’d somehow missed, Bernard Schopen, who writes about a Reno, Nevada detective named Jack Ross. The books are The Big Silence (1989) and The Desert Look (1990).

   They’re not bad, strongly reminiscent of Ross Macdonald in how they deal with crimes of the past that haunt the present, but Jack Ross is much more of a presence than Archer. The prose is powerful in places, particularly lyrical in describing the desert, but overwritten in others.

   The stories he tells are both tortuous and tortured, at times making Macdonald seem cheerful in comparison. Both were published by Mysterious Press in hardback and paper. I’m unaware of others, but these are worth checking out if PIs are your thing.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #3, September 1992.

Bibliographic Update: There was a third book in the series: The Iris Deception (University of Nevada Press, softcover, 1996).