The Heat's On
By Chester Himes
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780394759975, 176pp.)
Publication Date: November 28, 1988
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Detectives Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones are in the hot seat in one of the most chaotic, brutally funny novels in Chester Himes’s groundbreaking Harlem Detectives series.
From the start, nothing goes right for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger. 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 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 heroin and a giant albino called Pinky.
Chester Himes was born in Missouri in 1909. He began writing while serving a prison sentence for a jewel theft and published just short of twenty novels before his death in 1984. Among his best-known thrillers are Blind Man with a Pistol, Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Crazy Kill, A Rage in Harlem, The Real Cool Killers, and The Heat's On, all available from Vintage.
“A rattlingly good action melodrama spiced with a maximum of humor and a minimum of self-consciousness.”
—The New York Times
“One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius.”
“Some of the most exciting—and comic—crime novels ever written.”
—The Washington Post
“Chester Himes is the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler.”
—San Francisco Chronicle