Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Clean Hands

by Patrick Hoffman

From Patrick Hoffman, CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award finalist and critically acclaimed author of The White Van and Every Man a Menace, comes a breakout thriller about a powerful law firm on the brink of disaster, and the woman charged with making all their problems go away

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date June 22, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4911-4
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date June 02, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2953-6
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date June 02, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2954-3
  • US List Price $26.00

Corporate lawyer Elizabeth Carlyle is under a lot of pressure. Her prestigious New York law firm is working on their most high-stakes case in company history, defending a prominent bank that’s been accused of fraud. When Elizabeth gets the news that one of her junior associates has lost his phone—and the secret documents that were on it—she needs help. Badly.

Enter ex-CIA officer Valencia Walker, a high-priced fixer who gets called in when rich corporations, people and governments need their problems solved discretely. But things get complicated when the missing phone is retrieved: somebody has already copied the documents, and now they’re blackmailing the firm. The situation gets murkier still when stories about the documents start appearing in the press and a tragic suicide appears staged, hinting that darker forces may be churning below the surface. With billions of dollars on the line, Elizabeth and Valencia must maneuver and outmaneuver whomever is behind this, and, most importantly, keep their hands clean.

This is a world of private security, private diplomacy, and private justice. A sharply drawn cast of characters—dirty lawyers, black-market traders, Russian criminals, and extra-judicial actors, all take part in this breakneck tour through New York. Authentic, tense, and impossible to put down, Clean Hands gives a vivid look at the connections between corporations, government, and the underworld.

Praise for Clean Hands:

“Mr. Hoffman, apparently a still-working private investigator based in Brooklyn, writes with a good ear, a fine eye and a sure hand; he has a wondrous ability to render the thoughts of his socially and morally diverse cast… The book’s unpredictable sentences are full of such surprises, and its scenes build to unexpected revelations. With its crisp pace and superb timing, Clean Hands is a special treat to read.”—Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

“This sly thriller begins during rush hour at Grand Central Terminal…The plot is fast-paced, and its twists lead ever deeper into corporate intrigue and government espionage.”—New Yorker

“The fun is in the details. A lot of characters find themselves in places they would rather not be, feeling paranoid, anxious and compromised by things they wish they had not done… It becomes increasingly clear that the whole thing is far more complicated, with much higher stakes, than most of the pawns in this grand chess game understand.”—New York Times Book Review

“The pickpocketing of a lawyer’s smartphone loaded with sensitive documents sets off an intriguing string of events, which hits critical mass when the victim’s law firm hires an ex-CIA fixer to solve the high-stakes problem.”—Boston Globe

“Part legal thriller, part classic noir, and part spy thriller, Clean Hands is an unputdownable read, filled with private security firms, crooked lawyers, shady black market traders, and Russian organized crime.”—Buzzfeed

“Hoffman is one of the foremost practitioners in crime fiction today, a skilled storyteller who weaves together complex narratives to give readers an illuminating look at the darkened links binding global crime and corruption together… This is a dark and nuanced novel that dissects financial crime at the highest levels.”—CrimeReads  

“An enjoyably hard-boiled yarn streaked with noir effects, Hoffman’s follow-up to Every Man a Menace (2016) is a skillfully orchestrated effort that achieves its most outlandish effects with nifty understatement. It is a book of constantly moving parts and constantly moving vehicles, as characters race across New York City to avert disaster… Crime fiction that gives chaos an entertaining ride.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The impressive plot twists are a reminder that Hoffman remains a writer to watch.”—Publishers Weekly

“Valencia, a former CIA operative, is an expert manipulator and strategist, which casts intriguing doubt on her motives and propels the story toward a jaw-dropping twist. Fans of Zoë Sharp’s Charlie Fox and Chris Pavone’s Kate Moore will want to see more of Valencia Walker.”—Booklist

“A thriller that dives into the world of big money shenanigans and all the justice that money can buy.”—Library Journal

Clean Hands is an old-fashioned private investigator yarn—a terrific story—but skillfully brought up to date. Patrick Hoffman never slows the pace and always keeps the reader guessing. I admired the strong female characters, especially the P.I., Valencia Walker, a take-charge dame who’s been around the block too many times to count.”—Susan Isaacs, New York Times-bestselling author of Takes One to Know One

Clean Hands is a terrific combination of noir mystery with financial thriller plus dirty-ops espionage, staking a claim to a highly compelling intersection of gritty and glamour, with an unforgettable cast that’s rich in both low lifes and the high life, and devious twists galore. Highly enjoyable.”—Chris Pavone, New York Times-bestselling author of The Expats

Praise for Patrick Hoffman:

“Criminal fools populate the drug-selling networks from San Francisco to Bangkok to Miami in Patrick Hoffman’s astonishing, violent novel . . . filled with sharply drawn characters . . . A mind-bending, attention-demanding narrative as full of shocks and surprises as an LSD party.”—Wall Street Journal, on Every Man a Menace

Every Man a Menace is everything you could want in a thriller—lightning pace, dead-on dialogue, and a twisting, high-torque plot. But, most of all, this novel is smart and authentic, a welcome jolt at a time when so much fiction reads like it rolled off an assembly line.”—Carl Hiaasen, on Every Man a Menace

“Subtle characterization, tricky narrative switchbacks . . . vivid, moody prose . . . closer to Denis Johnson than to Elmore Leonard.”—Paris Review Daily, on Every Man a Menace

“[Every Man a Menace] is distinguished by its virtuoso set pieces . . . a nasty tour de force . . . Hoffman’s follow-up to The White Van is another strong and original addition to the crime fiction genre.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review), on Every Man a Menace

“Patrick Hoffman writes vivid and colourful prose, in a style that has Hollywood movie written all over it . . . An exciting read.”—Toronto Star, on Every Man a Menace

“[An] exhilarating crime debut . . . Hoffman gives his story a stunner of a twist, where roles are reversed, lies become truths, and it all gives way to the most perfect hustle of all . . . Hoffman’s crime plot doesn’t just thicken, it boils with surprise after surprise and suspense as tight as a noose . . . He cinematically captures a seamy San Francisco . . . the hard-boiled prose glints like a broken mirror . . . wildly satisfying.”—San Francisco Chronicle, on The White Van

“[A] gritty, exhilarating . . . Everything in his unpredictable fiction has the dissonant clink of alarming truth . . . The White Van, with its quick and scary turns, provides a hell of a ride; the action never stops—even after the final page.”—Wall Street Journal, on The White Van