Shaker (Used Book) - Scott Frank
The tense, darkly funny, unputdownable debut novel from one of the most successful screenwriters of the past twenty years--the tale of a hit man mistaken for a hero whose sudden, unwanted fame makes him a target for the surprising number of people who want him dead.
Roy Cooper, a stoic, unassuming "errand runner" for various New York criminals, arrives in Los Angeles just as a powerful earthquake throws the city into chaos. Still, Roy is able to get his hit job done well. Except for one thing: amid the chaos, he can't find his car. Helplessly lost in North Hollywood, he stumbles upon a jogger being beaten by four gangbangers, and, despite his best efforts, winds up in the middle of the fray. The jogger--a controversial mayoral candidate--is murdered. Roy ends up hospitalized in critical condition and is lionized--mistaken as a hero--when a video of the fight goes viral. Enter Kelly Maguire, an LAPD detective with an anger-management problem and an uneasy feeling about L.A.'s newest hero; Science, the teenage sociopath gangbanger/shooter who needs to keep Roy quiet about what he's seen; Albert, Roy's onetime mentor and one of the scariest, creepiest characters in recent crime fiction; and myriad criminals, politicians, and cops who need Roy to disappear--preferably forever.