The Jook

by Gary Phillips

jooklarge£6.99 – 1899344918
B-format paperback original
£15.00 – 1899344926
198mm x 127mm Hardback

Zelmont Raines has slid a long way since those winning touchdowns brought him lucrative endorsement deals. Crack, barrels of booze, a paternity suit, a hip injury, groupies and some shady investments in gangsta rap; can things get any worse?

Enter Wilma Wells, the leggy and brainy lawyer for the Los Angeles Barons professional team. She just happens to be of a mind to pull off a job on her mob-connected bosses. When Zelmont is enlisted in her schemes, he soon learns that the violence he experienced on the field was just a warm-up to the dangers he faces with a woman more than his match sexually and amorally.


“Gary Phillips writes tough and gritty parables about life and death on the mean streets. His is a voice that should be heard and celebrated.” – Michael Connelly, author

“Phillips is a natural-born writer who has clearly studied his predecessors, both literary and political, US and foreign. He writes a tight, unadorned prose which serves to highlight his excursions into traditional snappy dialogue and hardboiled philosophy.” – Morning Star

“A hard-edged, wonderfully creative work with the kind of literary bite that lingers” – Robert Green, author of Limited Time

“It hooked me like a laboratory monkey. Buy it. Read it. Pass it on. It rocks. Gary Phillips is my favourite writer ‘of colour’ bar none” – Eddie Little, author of Another Day in Paradise


Gary Phillips72dpiGARY PHILLIPS lives in Los Angeles and is best known for his novels and short stories featuring PI Ivan Monk. He has worked a lot of different gigs in his time: a graveyard shift security guard, a printer, a union organizer, co-director of the MultiCultural Collaborative (a nonprofit set-up to improve race relations after the ’92 LA riots) and as political director of a city council campaign. He writes on politics and pop culture for such as the Los Angeles Times, LA Watts Times, Rap Pages, the San Francisco Examiner, Freestyle and Black Scholar.

He occasionally loses money at the poker table, watches his kids play sports, and finds that walking the dog is a fine excuse to light up a stogie.

Read an extract from The Jook