Shaker

A Thriller

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
This gripping, darkly funny debut thriller from acclaimed screenwriter Scott Frank is "an L.A. story with a little bit of [Elmore] Leonard, a little bit of Day of the Locust, and a whole lot of earthquakes” (Interview). 

Roy Cooper, a stoic, unassuming “errand runner” for New York criminals, is finishing up a job in Los Angeles a week after a powerful earthquake has wreaked havoc on the city. Wandering the streets of North Hollywood while looking for his car, Roy runs into four teenage gangbangers and finds himself in the last place he wants to be: the middle of another killing. A mugging goes awry, and a passing jogger—who turns out to be a prominent mayoral candidate—dies. Roy himself is shot twice and hospitalized in critical condition. A local resident catches the whole thing on camera in a video that goes viral. And Roy, by some twist of fate, comes out looking like the hero, losing the hit man’s greatest weapon: anonymity. Roy’s newfound fame draws unlikely characters into his orbit: Kelly Maguire, a disgraced LAPD detective with an anger management problem; Science, a young gang leader who needs Roy to keep quiet about what he’s seen; Mayor Miguel Santiago, who faces accusations that he’s just had his opponent whacked; and, most chillingly, Albert Budin, a dangerous man from Roy’s past who’s just learned that his old acquaintance is still alive.

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One

Five days after the quake, Roy Cooper boarded USAir flight 626, LGA to LAX, to pay a visit to a man named Martin Shine who had been, according to Harvey’s brief message earlier that morning, “hiding out with his Armenian whore somewhere in North Hollywood.” Roy packed a bag, unsure as to...
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PRAISE FOR

Praise for Scott Frank’s Shaker

“With its driving narrative, slim chapters, and sensational plotline, Shaker really moves.” —Newsday
 
“A total page-turner first novel from an award-winning screenwriter and an absolutely new voice to watch on the suspense scene.” —Library Journal (starred review)
 
“A gripping, strikingly original debut novel. . . . Every one of the characters, in particular the teenage gangbangers, springs to vivid and tragic life.” —Booklist

“Frank puts his career as one of the town’s best screenwriters to excellent use in his[A] sterling debut novel. . . . Shaker boasts a kind of unrestrained, manic energy reminiscent of the great Jim Thompson.” —Providence Journal

“Frank captures the underbelly of Los Angeles’s streets to perfection with sharply written prose and biting dialogue. . . . A richly layered crime story.” —BookPage