Discover Jon A Jackson, the mystery writer and his Fang

Jon Jackson relaxing

That's a cigar in his mouth
That's a cigar in his mouth

They call him Fang

Fang Mulheisen is a good cop who had an even better teacher, a cop known as Grootka. Fang runs up against an out of town pro, a hit man named Joe Service, who is sometimes a little better, and stays a step ahead. Jon Jackson's detective series is known as the Detective Sergeant Fang Mulheisen series. I see at as three interwoven series: some feature Mulheisen, some feature Grootka, and some feature Service.

No matter, it's a great series; a series that is best devoured from the beginning. The characters evolve and their stories are told in layers, layers sometimes flow between books. These are urban cop stories, so think noir. They are set in Detroit, so think dirty motor oil noir. Jon Jackson writes characters and stories about those characters that absorb you to the last page, and amazingly you feel satisfied when you close the book.

Fang Mulheisen is a good cop, a little bit bull, but not nearly as much of a bull as his mentor, Grootka. He is schooled by Grootka, but develops a different style. Fang lives with his mom until her death, so we get to see this big cop come home, care for his mother and be a little bullied by her. On the streets he is a grinding police machine, obsessed with the open case, and struggles to remain human.

Grootka is a shadow in the series until his namesake book,"Grootka". He's as hard cased as his name sounds. When he was on the force he cut corners, bashed heads, and forced solutions. Grootka is a retired cop when he is drawn into a case; makes things complicated for Mulheisen and reveal some of his soul.

I enjoy Fang, but I may look forward to Joe Service more. Joe Service grows from a relatively small player in a Fang Mulheisen case, to the main player in some of the subsequent books. You see, Joe is a contract killer, and a darn good one. In the beginning he's just a face, a trigger-man, and a problem solver. Then Jon goes and gives him some personality, some humane characteristics, some personal problems and a girl friend, and bang, he's a protagonist!

My favorite book in the series is the "Blind Pig". If you know what a blind pig is, you know this story takes place in the small hours of the morning. If you don't know the meaning, I'm not going to tell you - read the book. In fact, if you are only going to get to read one Jon Jackson book in your life, then let it be the "Blind Pig"!

Jon Jackson is an interesting guy: a writer; a teacher of writing; an ax fan (that's a sax max); a cigar aficionado; an angler; a Detroit guy, gone Montanan.

Recommendations

If you are drawn to the series, then start with "The Diehard".

If you are interested in well researched historical novels, try "Go By Go".

If you want a great read, then pick up a "The Blind Pig".

Jon Jackson Bibliography

Detective Sergeant Mulheisen (and Joe Service) series

  1. The Diehard, 1977

  2. The Blind Pig, 1978

  3. Grootka, 1990

  4. Hit on the House, 1992

  5. Deadman, 1994

  6. Dead Folks, 1996

  7. Man With an Axe, 1998

  8. La Donna Detroit, 2000

  9. Badger Games, 2002

  10. No Man's Dog, 2004

Novels

  • Go By Go, 1993

"Go By Go", is a great stand alone about Montana; the mining town of Butte around 1912, and Montana in the McCarthy era. It explores what happens when life changing secrets are slipt under covers, and then somebody tugs at the covers years later. It's a simple men against "the man" story.

No, this is not President Gerald Ford

Jon Jackson with his author's cap on
Jon Jackson with his author's cap on

Man with an Ax

Discover mystery authors

There are many more terrific mystery writers whose names may not be on the NY Time's list, but deserve to be on a mystery reader's list. Discover Mystery Authors is a HubPage with a sneak peak at many more author's that you should check out!

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