Greer, Robert O. 1944-
Greer, Robert O. 1944-
Born 1944, in Columbus, OH. Education: Miami University of Ohio, B.A., 1965; Boston University, M.F.A.; earned degree from Howard University.
Home—Denver, CO. Office—School of Dentistry, Campus Box F831, 3065 E. 17th Ave., Aurora, CO 80045. E-mail—[email protected]
Mystery novelist, surgical pathologist, and educator. University of Colorado Health Services Center, professor of pathology, medicine, surgery, and dentistry; High Plains Literary Review, Denver, CO, founder and editor-in-chief, 1986—. Denver National Public Radio affiliate, KUVO, Denver, CO, book reviewer; ranch owner, Steamboat Springs, CO.
Doctorate of Humane Letters from Miami University.
"C.J. FLOYD" MYSTERY NOVELS
The Devil's Hatband, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 1996, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2004.
The Devil's Red Nickel, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 1997, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2005.
The Devil's Backbone, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 1998, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2006.
Limited Time, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Resurrecting Langston Blue, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2005.
The Fourth Perspective: A C.J. Floyd Mystery, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2006.
(With Gary W. Mierau and Blaise E. Favara) Tumors of the Head and Neck in Children: Clinicopathologic Perspectives, Praeger (New York, NY), 1983.
Isolation, and Other Stories, Davies Group (Aurora, CO), 2001.
Heat Shock, Mysterious Press (New York, NY), 2003.
The Mongoose Deception, Frog (Berkeley, CA), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Black American Literature Forum and Writers' Forum.
Robert O. Greer is a mystery writer known for his novels featuring African American protagonist C.J. Floyd, a Vietnam veteran working as a bounty hunter and bondsman in Denver, Colorado. Greer introduced Floyd to readers in 1996 with The Devil's Hatband, in which the hero is assigned the task of finding an animal-rights activist who has disappeared along with some allegedly stolen documents. Soon enough, Floyd finds the woman dead, whereupon he is hired by her father to discover the killer. As his search leads him to fanatical activists, including one deranged individual in possession of a virus capable of destroying cattle, Floyd discovers that his own life is in jeopardy.
Greer's The Devil's Red Nickel again features bondsman-bounty hunter C.J. Floyd, who is hired to apprehend the killer of LeRoy Daddy "Doo-Wop" Polk. Polk was a Denver music figure who had planned to open a music museum and produce recordings until he was found dead of what was initially believed to be a heart attack. However, Floyd's client, Polk's attractive daughter, knows better. Floyd's ensuing investigation leads him to learn that several individuals may have longed for Polk's death: a former partner believes that Polk was conducting an affair with his wife, a singer insists that Polk stole his songs, and a mobster suspects Polk of having stolen valuable tapes. Polk's daughter, however, suspects her stepbrother and his mother of having killed Polk to gain control of rare recorded material. Floyd endeavors to uncover the truth even though his search ultimately runs him afoul of a mob killer. A Library Journal reviewer applauded the book's attention to minute details and its "dynamite action."
In The Devil's Backbone, another C.J. Floyd mystery novel, the savvy bondsman and bounty hunter agrees to search for the killer of Hambone Doibey, a former rodeo performer who had recently discovered diamonds on some of his property near Denver. Possible suspects in Hambone's demise include two oil executives determined to obtain rights to the valuable property; Hambone's illegitimate son from a distant romance; and fellow rodeo veterans who loathed the success of Hambone, an African American. While Floyd perseveres in his efforts to find Hambone's killer, he must also contend with a deranged woman eager to avenge Floyd's apprehension of her bail-jumping brother. Booklist reviewer Bill Ott praised the novel's "crisp plotting" and "nice cantering pace."
Greer makes use of his professional background in Heat Shock, a medical thriller that features a trio of amateur detectives in the form of a mixed-race emergency room doctor who faces extreme racism in her Colorado home town, a former miner who is dying of cancer, and a whitewater river rafter. The book opens with a cock fight run by the former miner, and the mysterious research lab that wants to examine the birds to determine what is leading to their extreme strength and prowess. When people start getting killed for the information regarding the birds, the book swiftly takes a turn toward borderline science fiction. Connie Fletcher, in a review for Booklist, wrote that "reading Greer is like being hooked up to an I.V. that steadily drips suspense."
With Resurrecting Langston Blue, Greer returns to his Floyd mysteries, this time including Carmen Nguyen, the biracial emergency room physician who was introduced in Heat Shock. When Carmen discovers that her father, Langston Blue, an American serviceman long thought to be dead, might actually be alive after all, she hires Floyd and his partner to investigate. The team discover that Blue deserted during a rogue operation, and has been in hiding to avoid the other members of the mission who are likely willing to kill him in order to keep their secret safe. Wes Lukowsky, reviewing for Booklist, called the book "an entertaining, white-knuckle thrill ride with the powers that be."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1 & 5, 1998, Bill Ott, review of The Devil's Backbone, p. 782; December 1, 1999, William Beatty, review of Limited Time, p. 686; September 1, 2003, Connie Fletcher, review of Heat Shock, p. 69; September 15, 2005, Wes Lukowsky, review of Resurrecting Langston Blue, p. 35.
Library Journal, February 1, 1997, review of The Devil's Red Nickel, p. 110.
Robert O. Greer Home Page,http://www.robertgreerbooks.com (September 2, 2007).