Friday, April 19, 2024

Off The Books


Nick Forte has lost his detective agency and makes ends meet doing background checks and other paperwork. He pays for everything else through jobs he takes for cash and without any written contract. What starts out as a simple investigation into a traffic accident exposes Forte to people who have truly lost everything and have no viable hope of reclaiming their lives. That doesn’t sit well with Forte, leading him and his friend Goose Satterwhite to take action that ends more violently than anyone expected.

 “The return of Chicago private detective Nick Forte, the tough protagonist of two Shamus Award nominated novels, is well worth the wait. Nick’s latest escapade Off The Books—the first in nearly six years—will surely earn additional praise for the acclaimed series.”

-J.L .Abramo, Shamus Award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Chan.


"Nick Forte reminds me of Robert B. Parker's Spenser: a PI with a finely tuned sense of justice who doesn't take anyone's s***. Any fan of hardboiled detective fiction is in for a helluva ride."

--Chris Rhatigan, former publisher of All Due Respect Books

my review...

This is the kind of book you finish in two or three days. Nick Forte is the kind of Private Investigator I like. He doesn’t take crap easily and he has no patience for fakes…the people kind that is. This time Nick is just finishing a case of a missing girl, one he hopes to find in time. Right at the tail end of it comes a request from a very wealthy possible client. He’s the type of man Forte has no patience for but tolerates because he can use the dough. What unfolds is a good action story about some of the worst crimes imaginable.

Since I said this was” finishable” in two or three days, you probably already know I liked it. Dana King created an excellent character and wrote a book that was pretty visual. Often when there are action scenes it can become difficult to figure out who is who, so to speak. That was never true in Off The Books. It was clear, visible, and easy to read.

This book can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Off the Books is Book 6 of the “Nick Forte” series. I rarely read backward in a series, but I think I’ll have to go back and read more about Nick Forte. Most of all, I hope there’s a book 7 coming. 

 read an excerpt... 

I’m a professional snoop. People’s privacy went only as far as the task at hand in my profession. I executed search warrants as a cop and opened more drawers than an Ethan Allen quality control inspector since I went private. Tonight I felt as if I was violating something sacred as I looked through what passed for personal effects in that trailer. Beside each bunk were two banker’s boxes that held what appeared to be all the earthly possessions of the men (and women?) who lived here. Most were family photos. Children’s drawings. Bibles and small statues of saints. A T-shirt or two. The random pair of jeans. I had no idea how often supplies were replenished. Must have been like Red Cross day in the POW camp this place kept reminding me of.

Bare bulbs suspended from the ceiling with reflectors above them were the only light sources. No clocks. A small shrine to the Virgin Mary occupied a corner of the kitchen.

What little fresh air I felt came through screened vents in the ceiling. I pulled a bunk over so I could peek through and found vent covers six inches above the opening. Air could pass through, but nothing else. Acrylic shields swung up to cover the vent in cold weather.

I photographed it all. After saving about fifty images I returned everything to where it had been and let myself out. Made sure the lock was in the same position I found it. Walked back to my car with my head on a swivel, alert to anything that might be a threat, or possibly useful when I came back.

about Dana King...

Off the Books is Dana King’s sixth Nick Forte private investigator novel. Two of the earlier books (A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window) received Shamus Award nominations from the Private Eye Writers of America. Dana also writes the Penns River series of police procedurals set in a small Western Pennsylvania town, as well as one standalone novel, Wild Bill, which is not a Western. His short fiction appears in numerous anthologies and web sites. He is a frequent panelist at conferences and reads at Noirs at Bars from New York to North Carolina.




One Bite at a Time





a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for hosting and reviewing today.

  2. Thanks for hosting me today, and for the review. Sicne you asked, yes, there will be a Book 7. I hope to break ground in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Great. Will watch for Book 7. Best of luck with Book 6.

  3. Sounds like a really good read.


Hateful and Unrelated Comments Will Be Deleted. Anonymous comments are invalid to enter into giveaways.

If you see any spam comments, please notify me. My email is on the "About Me" page. Thanks much.