Gas City

Loren D. Estleman

Forge Books

Calling upon his considerable novelistic skills, Loren D. Estleman exposes the black heart of a seemingly stable, well-run city suddenly pitched into violence and chaos. A delicate balance of forces—greed and  corruption, ambition and desire—run out of control in the wake of a serial killer's grisly rampage.
A power struggle—between a police chief who has looked the other way for too long, a Mafia boss who holds the city's vices in his powerful grasp, and media reporters looking for a big story—turns what has been a minor dispute into a desperate struggle for survival.
Setting this drama in a blue-collar metropolis dominated by an oil company, Estleman, with an unerring eye for telling detail and an ear for dialogue that reveals the secret desires of his characters, crafts a fascinating, deadly tapestry of love, ambition, revenge, and redemption, a stunning portrait of the human condition.

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Read an Excerpt

A couple of days before Arch Killian’s seventy-eighth birthday, he mentioned to his son that he’d outlived all his old friends and no one was left to serve as his pallbearer.
His son said, “Dad, isn’t that the idea?”
“Not when I was young. The idea was to go first and leave a lot of people to miss you.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“You’re just used to me.”
It occurred to Arch too that he was one of the few left who had a personal memory of the original Morse McGrath. The number of those who even remembered


Praise for Gas City

Praise for Gas City:

“Loren D. Estleman's knife-edged serial-killer thriller, Gas City is pared to its very bone… Estleman, in the leanest prose possible, brings to life not just his characters but the vices that fuel them and, in the process, exposes the gritty, ragged, sordid underbelly of urban life. He's been called an heir to Chandler — and it's easy to see why.” Entertainment Weekly


“Shamus-winner Estleman, best known for his hard-boiled Amos Walker series (American Detective, etc.), creates a new, morally complex world in this razor-sharp tale of crime and corruption in a fictional eastern U.S. city.... will justly be compared with that of James Ellroy's Los Angeles noir mysteries and John Gregory Dunne's True Confessions. Admirers of unsparing crime fiction will hope that Estleman plans to visit Gas City again.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review


“May be the prolific Estleman’s most thought-provoking and emotionally engaging novel among the 60 or so he’s written. Its subject is contemporary rust-belt politics as a human phenomenon and the way that a politician’s compromises can affect both the citizenry at large and the individuals who make up that citizenry. Each of the half-dozen plotlines is executed flawlessly and presented in a context of moral ambiguity in which every choice—whether self-serving or altruistic—has consequences both good and evil. A magnificent crime novel.”

—    Booklist (Starred Review)


“Portrait of a city by an old master... The chronically undervalued Estleman ( American Detective, 2007, etc.) serves up what just might be the best novel about urban political corruption since Dashiel Hammett's The Glass Key.”

Kirkus (Starred Review)

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Loren D. Estleman

  • Loren D. Estleman has written more than sixty novels. His books have won four Shamus Awards, five Golden Spur Awards, and three Western Heritage Awards. He lives in central Michigan with his wife, author Deborah Morgan. 
  • Loren D. Estleman Deborah Morgan





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Gas City

    Loren D. Estleman



    Forge Books