Wallach's “cheap” prose is an ingenious way of telling a certain kind
of story. His prose is crazy-like-a-fox prose. The world he’s
describing is the way he makes it look and sound and smell because it
doesn’t have any airs. If in even a few instances he had given it any,
the whole thing would have seemed . . . precious. And good noirs aren't
precious. Noirs worthy of the name are cynical, fatalistic and morally
slipshod. Eventually, you realize that all those clichés and facile
descriptions and dime-store dialogue instances and false big-deal
declarations and arrivals of the obvious in JESSE GARON, are doing you
a favor. They are allowing you to sample a world occupied by characters
so infected by unconscious desires to be Humphrey Bogart think-a-likes
that they even have the author’s prose in a death-grip of constant
~ Dudley Linch
A great read through the eyes of the protagonist
that will leave the
I started reading “A Phil Allman P.I. Novel, JESSE GARON: THE SEARCH
FOR ELVIS PRESLEY'S TWIN,
by Brett Wallach. By the end of chapter one I was completely hooked. I
had just visited Graceland a year earlier with my parents and two
children. To say I’m an Elvis fan would be a mild understatement. I
found the characters and story line to be very intriguing. This is a
fantastic book that I would recommend for anyone who loves mystery,
romance and of course Elvis. Brett Wallach has two more Phil Allman P.
I. books and I’m so excited to read them next.
A Rock and Roll Mystery with Heart
Wallach serves up a modern noir with JESSE GARON. The book follows one
Phil Allman, a sarcastic PI with a soft-side (and various rough edges),
as he tries to track down Elvis’s brother, Jesse Garon. The book
explores the traditional noir conventions of murder and intrigue, but
it really shines when it examines the real world, modern phenomena of
divorce, heartbreak, casual flings, child-rearing, and, of course, Rock
and Roll Stardom (and the ameliorative benefits of drunk karaoke).
The book favors the interiority of Allman over the mystery itself.
While initially thrown off by this, I came to appreciate the psychology
of a man who wants to prove himself as a capable father as much as he
wants to get down to the brass tacks of his case. When Allman pines for
his ex-wife, it’s with the careful (and sardonic) consideration of
Elvis Presley’s final years that helps the reader understand Allman and
even the King of Rock and Roll a little clearer.
The book relishes these quieter moments that occur before the grisly
scenes but the reader is never allowed to wallow—the pacing of the tale
makes sure the reader is paying rapt attention.
Like a good Elvis Presley song, this story’s got heart and a unique
(sometimes literally crooning) voice.
When I started to read JESSE GARON (Phil Allman P.I. Book 1) I didn’t
know what to expect, but I couldn’t help myself to keep reading until
the very end. It’s a real page-turner.
The story is about a Private Investigator, Phil Allman—and a big fan of
Elvis Presley—who attended at the “Elvis Forever” fan club and after
the meeting, a lawyer, Downes, approached Allman to hire him to find
Elvis Presley’s twin brother, Jesse Garon.
Brett Wallach is a gifted writer, and I love to read more of his books.
I give this book a five-star reading.
For any Elvis fan, this imaginative tale about the hunt for his twin
will prove intriguing as it provides a new look at a “what if” theory,
meaning could his twin have survived? PI Allman is hired for the job of
finding Jesse Garon for mysterious clients of a go-between attorney.
Join him in that hunt.
If you remember the Elvis era of music and his history, this story will
bring back the days when his hip shaking was forbidden and his music
frowned upon as corrupting the young. Elvis was a harbinger of things
to come. And with his death, that era ended and fans were left with
only music and memories. If you don’t remember Elvis, this book will
introduce you to the feelings he aroused with his music and the tragic
life he led.
PI Allman is an Elvis fan and accepts the job of finding the
brother for mysterious clients but he isn’t told why. During his search
he reconnects with an old love and then loses her. The reader will meet
some very interesting characters while PI Allman’s life takes some
interesting turns as does the clues he is given to follow.
Join him in his search, sharing the remembered feelings about
Elvis while chasing an unknown brother. He is involved in more than one
unexpected death and must trace the killer. To do that he needs a
motive and that will keep you reading to the end.
Any reader of mystery will find this an original plot and find
this a satisfying, pleasant read as they revisit bygone days and be
looking for other books by talented Brett Wallach whose creative
thinking reconnects us with the memorable music and singers of the
beginning of a period in history that will never be forgotten.
Recommended for all mystery buffs.
Anne K. Edwards
The series of events that unfold in the hunt for Jesse Garon is
fast-paced and riveting.
At times the first-person monologue is vulgar in nature, but so
too is Phil Allman. While a multitude of characters can be at times
overwhelming, their subtle interconnectivity keeps the reader on their
In all honesty, I found myself thinking about this story and
the world which author Brett Wallach has created in Jesse Garon during
the few times that I put the book down. Mr. Wallach is a gifted writer
who puts the reader inside the book, and makes you feel as though you
are there. It was a fun ride!
I didn’t want it to end! I would definitely recommend JESSIE
GARON, this first of three P.I. Phil Allman books, to any
Phil Allman is contracted to find the missing twin brother of Elvis
Presley, who was mistakenly believed to have been stillborn when the
legendary King of Rock and Roll was born in 1933.
At first I thought the plot implausible, but Presley did in
fact have a twin named Jesse Garon Presley, who did not survive when
their mother gave birth, so it is conceivable, as since he was born
into an impoverished family, he could have been given away at birth.
The story starts slowly, with the detective narrator
explaining that he was an Elvis fan and why the star's twin was adopted
and registered as stillborn. Then, as the tale progresses, the
characters take over and it becomes more interesting. Private
Investigator, narrator and protagonist, Phil Allman, is well-rounded,
likable and struggling to come to terms with the separation from his
wife and to maintain contact with his eleven-year-old daughter., while
at the same time unravelling the mystery surrounding Elvis's twin.
Characters are expertly introduced and neatly described, with amusing
asides from Allman. His search for Jesse Garon is intriguing and is
complicated by some murders he encounters along the way.
JESSE GARON is well-crafted and absorbing, and because of my
concern for the well-being of the central character, I was compelled to
read on to the end. The author is a talented storyteller. His skill in
this genre is clearly evident and he should be congratulated. I can
thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
If you like mysteries, you will enjoy this unique story. Based on the
possibility that Elvis’ twin brother may not have been stillborn, but
may have ended up in the hands of adoptive parents, makes for an
interesting read. Immersed in the lore of this legendary icon and the
early days of rock and roll, in JESSE GARON we go on a quest for the
truth, ultimately leading us to Memphis. Along the way, we discover
this isn’t just a simple search for answers about Elvis’ lost brother,
but since we are in the mind of Allman, the private investigator, we
realize this is a metaphor for finding oneself. It’s this personal
plight of the investigator that makes the story come alive, grounding
it in modern turmoil and real emotion. That contrasts with the
seemingly romanticized past, which in reality wasn’t all that romantic.
Yet, past versus present begs to be contemplated, as does the life of a
“regular Joe” versus a rock star. Also, the idea of where we come from
and what experiences we have and how that makes us who were are—all of
that is dredged up for us to think about. Great reading makes us look
not only at the characters, but also ourselves, asking the bigger
questions. I think this book does that for us.
~ Theresa Braun