STEVE NEIL JOHNSON
My books run the gamut from adult crime fiction to teen suspense to children's adventure. My latest mystery series, The L.A. After Midnight Quartet, follows a number of gay characters from the 1950s through the 1980s, with each book representing a different decade. The fourth book in the series, THE RED RAVEN, has just come out. My other books include the Doug Orlando Mysteries, which feature a gay Brooklyn Homicide cop and have been reader favorites for the last thirty years, an occult thriller, THIS ENDLESS NIGHT, and stories for younger audiences.
THE RED RAVEN
Book 4: The L.A. AFTER MIDNIGHT Quartet
Los Angeles, 1988...Thirteen years have passed since the events in THE BLUE PARROT...Crusading attorney Paul Winters has settled into a quiet life representing AIDS patients as the disease takes its deadly toll in the community. But his peaceful existence is shattered when a brutal bathhouse murder and a briefcase stuffed with blackmail money propel him into a nightmare world of fear and danger. Against the backdrop of 1980s AIDS activism and depraved government indifference, Paul and investigator Jim Blake embark on their final case. As they follow the clues, Paul and Blake are hunted by murderous adversaries who will stop at nothing to bring them down.
And they are ultimately forced to examine their past choices--and to ask...is it too late for us?
THE RED RAVEN is the fourth book in the Lambda Literary Award nominated series The L.A. AFTER MIDNIGHT Quartet, a four-book four-decade spanning saga of gay life from the 1950s to the 1980s in the City of Angeles. In order to fully enjoy the series, the author recommends reading the books in the order they were written, starting with THE YELLOW CANARY.
THE YELLOW CANARY
Book 1: The L.A. After Midnight Quartet
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST MYSTERY!
Los Angeles, 1956. It's a dangerous time to be gay. Nobody knows that better than closeted prosecutor Paul Winters, the rising star in the District Attorney's Office. But when the police insist a gay man arrested for soliciting committed suicide in custody--and Paul knows it was murder--he risks everything to uncover the truth. Thrown together with a strikingly handsome vice cop with a dark past, the two men race to expose a conspiracy at the highest levels of government that threatens to tear the city apart.
THE BLACK CAT
Book 2: The L.A. After Midnight Quartet
Los Angeles, 1966...Ten years have passed since the events in THE YELLOW CANARY...Crusading prosecutor Paul Winters is on the cusp of attaining his dream to become the next District Attorney of L.A. But a mysterious death and the troubled, dangerously handsome cop from his past, Jim Blake, may derail everything he has worked his whole life for. As the two men race to unravel a string of murders against the backdrop of racial strife and political turmoil in mid-sixties Los Angeles, they uncover a terrifying conspiracy that could destroy them both...and Paul is forced to choose between pursuing his dreams...and justice.
THE BLUE PARROT
Book 3: The L.A. AFTER MIDNIGHT Quartet
Los Angeles, 1975...Eight years have passed since the events in THE BLACK CAT...Crusading attorney Paul Winters is drawn into a web of fear and peril when Jim Blake, the dangerously handsome cop from his past, is framed for murder. As they follow clues left by the killer, their search leads them through the freewheeling world of sex and drugs and gay bathhouses in mid-seventies Los Angeles, and into the dark and chilling history of psychiatric abuse in California's most notorious state mental hospital. And Paul is forced to choose between two very different men...and face the truth that he loves them both...
A Doug Orlando Mystery
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST MYSTERY!
The bestselling crime novels of New York life in the early nineties are back. Gruff, weary, gay Brooklyn Homicide cop Doug Orlando is facing his most shocking case: Rabbi Avraham Rabowitz lay in a pool of his own blood, a prayer shawl stuffed down his throat, and his beard shaved off. The question for Detective Orlando isn't who hated the right wing religious sect leader--Rabowitz had been the open enemy of blacks, gays, pro-choice women, even fellow Jews. In a case that moves from the depths of the ghetto to the high-rise office of a real estate glamour-boy tycoon, the suspects come in every color and shade of belief. And unless Orlando can defuse a ticking time bomb of tension by nailing the killer, the melting pot of the city is going to melt down...
A Doug Orlando Mystery
The bestselling crime novels of New York life in the early nineties are back. Gruff, weary, gay Brooklyn Homicide cop Doug Orlando is facing his most terrifying case: a serial killer who leaves his victims naked but for dozens of long, murderous needles. The victims were last seen at No Exit, a gay club catering to the piercing and tattooing scene. When a priest rumored to have heard the killer's confession--and refused to reveal his identity--is found bludgeoned before his altar, war ignites between the city's gay community and the power elite of the Church. Orlando's search leads him through the underside of modern, urban Catholicism to New York's S&M playgrounds, and to a tattoo parlor that leaves its own unique mark on its patrons. But can he solve the case before the city burns?
THIS ENDLESS NIGHT
When 26-year-old anthropology grad student Jenny DeSoto is asked by her dad's former NYPD partner Mike--whom Jenny has always carried a torch for--to help solve an occult crime, she is plunged into a nightmare that may never end.
The grave of the notorious serial killer Charles Sesbit, who left her father a disabled wreck, has been dug up...and his skull is missing. Jenny immediately recognizes the work of a Palero, a priest in the dark religion Palo Mayombe.
Jenny knows the Palero plans to raise the spirit of Charles Sesbit in a terrifying ritual that will make the killer his slave to command at will. But what Jenny doesn't realize is that the dark priest knows who she is, and has plans of his own for her...
For Young Adults
When 16-year-old Spence Williams goes to live with his grandparents in a small farming town, the last thing he expects to find is a world of fear, grave robbing and murder. Just being a gay teen who is lousy at sports is tough enough. Spence is rapidly becoming the favorite whipping boy of the school bully, and his crush on football captain Pete doesn't seem to be going anywhere--until a mysterious new boy arrives in town.
Mario is a Cuban refugee, and a follower of the occult religion Santeria. He offers to help Spence win over Pete with a magic spell, but Spence soon learns there is a frightening side to his new friend's culture. Mario's cruel and dangerous guardian Lorenzo has come to town on a mission: to steal the skull of a notorious serial killer, Wendell Kane, who is buried in the local cemetery, and make the spirit of the killer his slave.
As Mario uses magic to try to save Spence from escalating violence from the school bully, and Spence tries to save Mario from the clutches of his brutal uncle, the boys find that there are more kinds of love than they originally imagined, and learn that sometimes you can't save the person you love most...
EDGAR ALLAN POE!
Cursed by the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe! What would you do if your substitute teacher turned out to be the ghost of scary writer Edgar Allan Poe? And he cursed you to spend a night living through his creepy tales for not doing your homework? If you're 12-year-old Jimmy Parker and his older brother Darry, you're in for the thrill ride of your life. Along for the adventure are the much picked-upon class brainiac and the prettiest and toughest girl in school.
In no time the kids are trapped in a crumbling mansion with no way out. Aided by a wisecracking crow and his arch-enemy, a crafty black cat, the kids must find a way to lift Poe's curse and uncover the family secret that will bring them untold riches...