John Joseph Ryan

A Bullet Apiece

All is not well in post-World War II St. Louis, and private eye Ed Darvis, a man pegged as liking justice too much, discovers there’s a fine line between solving a crime and being an accomplice.

Ed Darvis, a St. Louis private eye, is pegged as a man who “likes justice too much.” Maybe that’s why business is slow; turns out not everyone in St. Louis is looking for justice. Revenge, deceit, and a little profit-taking on the side are all too often the modus operandi of cops and criminals alike. But when a beautiful woman walks into his bland storefront agency on the seedy side of town and asks him to help find her kidnapped daughter, Darvis’s life heats up. He must use his wits to survive, jabbing and feinting with deadpan directness and cynical ease, and when that doesn’t work, delivering justice with the blunt end of his .38 revolver.

What readers are saying:

“Ryan hurtles into a dark, funny, absorbing world, complete with it’s own gravitational pull you can’t escape. A Bullet Apiece lets you go when it damn well pleases, which is to say, when it’s over, and even then it leaves you bruised and hungover in the best of ways.”- Fred Venturini, author of The Heart Does Not Grow Back

“John Joseph Ryan’s take on the mid-century hardboiled P.I. rocks the cradle of noir.”  - Jedidiah Ayres, author of Peckerwood and Fierce Bitches

“With the panache of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and the angst of Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder, John Joseph Ryan’s Ed Darvis combats criminals while wrestling with his own conscience in a 1960s St. Louis where cops and criminals collide and sometimes collude in a struggle for money and power. There’s a new P.I. in town and A Bullet Apiece is a rollicking read.” - Scott L. Miller, author of Interrogation and Counterfeit

About the Author

John Joseph Ryan’s short stories have appeared online in Akashic Books’ “Mondays are Murder” series, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, Suspense Magazine, and MARGIN, Exploring Modern Magical Realism. A verse noir poem appears in Gutter Books’ recent anthology Noir Riot. His poetry has appeared in various print magazines, including River Styx and Black Buzzard Review. John’s collaborative story, Hothouse by the River, which introduced private detective Ed Darvis, was produced in a limited letter press edition at the University of Iowa School for the Book. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and two children.