top of page

The Ragged End of Nowhere

Bodo Hagen thought his family had left Las Vegas for good. He had joined the CIA and moved to Berlin, while his younger brother had followed in their father's footsteps and joined the French Foreign Legion. For a while they were free from the criminal underworld upon which the Vegas Strip was built.

But when his Legion contract ended, Bodo's brother returned to Las Vegas. Five days later his body was found on the edge of the desert. Word is that he'd returned from Europe with a valuable—and possibly stolen—ancient relic to sell. Now Bodo must come back and track down that missing artifact—and with it, his brother's killer.

A quick-witted, fast-paced novel that shines a sharp new light on Las Vegas, The Ragged End of Nowhere was awarded the 2008 Tony Hillerman Prize for best debut mystery set in the American Southwest.

The Ragged End of Nowhere was published in November 2009 by St Martin's Press/Minotaur Books.

Reviews

"Chaney deftly plays the city's neon glitz against the grim characters and such Vegas truisms as "the house always wins." The novel shifts from edgy noir into history and derring-do. A wildly entertaining tale."

Thomas Gaughan

Booklist

“Can a novel be 'retro' and fresh at the same time. Apparently, because Chaney's book is just that, a smart new take on a classic genre. If you think you've read the last word on Las Vegas, then you should check out The Ragged End of Nowhere.”

—Don Winslow,

author of The Dawn Patrol
 

“Easily one of the most polished and assured first crime novels I've ever read. Whether it's the glitz of Las Vegas or the underworld of Paris and Berlin, Roy Chaney really knows how to put you at the scene of the crime and ratchet up the suspense. Connoisseurs of Chandler and Connelly have a new author to devour.”

—Jason Starr,

author of The Follower and Panic Attack

 

“Bodo Hagen is a new breed of private eye who makes a very special debut in The Ragged End of Nowhere. Roy Chaney exhibits the sure hand of an old pro as he describes Bodo's hunt to find his brother's killer amidst the flash and glitter of present-day Las Vegas. This is one of the best P.I. book titles in many years. Hopefully, Bodo is already booked for a return engagement in Sin City.”

—Robert J. Randisi,

author of The Rat Pack series

 

“This action-packed plot zips from beautiful, but crooked antique dealers to local crime czars to tough-as-nails Foreign Legionnaires. Though set in the sleazy underside of present day Las Vegas, the author successfully recreates a 1940's noir atmosphere: a "lone wolf looking for justice," tough grifters, and beautiful, scheming women. . . . This gritty plot mixed with some dashes of humor make this an entertaining read.”

Deadly Pleasures

"Chaney has a real flair for time and place, deftly painting Las Vegas as a city of hopes and dreams, but also one of disappointment and despair. Some readers may groan or roll their eyes believing this is yet another religious artifact thriller, ...but The Ragged Edge of Nowhere is far more nuanced. Not only is it exceptionally well written and populated with intricately drawn characters, the artifact's origin will likely come as a surprise, as will the fact that it is a real, historical object."

—Lance Wright,

Mysterious Reviews

"Chaney's debut novel has the feel of an old-fashioned private-eye tale in which, at any moment, a man wearing a fedora and a trench coat will be framed in a doorway with the fog moving in. But The Ragged End of Nowhere is no period piece; it's a modem mystery steeped in contemporary plot twists. (…) Chaney briskly moves The Ragged End of Nowhere to a surprising finale. Chaney's debut does the Tony Hillerman Prize proud."

Oline H. Cogdill,

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Even as he evokes classic hardboiled novels like The Maltese Falcon and I, The Jury, Chaney makes the material his own, adding artistic flourishes and offbeat humor. After only a few pages, you'll find yourself doubting that this is a first novel. After you finish, you'll be anxious to read his follow up."

Hank Wagner,

Mystery Scene

"Newly retired CIA agent Hagen is called back to his hometown of Las Vegas when his brother, a

member of the French Foreign Legion, is murdered five days after returning from his tour of duty. In this fast-paced debut, winner of the second annual Tony Hillerman Prize for the best first

mystery set in the West, there is more than one dangerous group out to stop Hagen from finding his

brother's killer. Chaney deliberately does not describe Hagen'.s emotions, and the reader is not allowed a sense of connection with the hero and his quest. Oddly enough, this detachment adds depth and makes the reader want more, especially since the ending is a zinger of a cliff-hanger. For fans of Brad Thor."

Library Journal

Available in Ebook editions from better booksellers everywhere, including:

"Roy Chaney, winner of the second Tony Hillerman prize for unpublished work in the Southwest, has penned a fast paced, tightly plotted tale that offers a taste of old-­fashioned PIs in a contemporary setting with characters and their descriptions reminiscent of Elmore Leonard. But Chaney's novel is more than just a detective story; he examines relationships and identities. Chaney's novel will delight mystery fans who appreciate complex plots, a terrific atmosphere, well-developed characters and realistic dialogue. I hope this is the first in a series, and Chaney has definitely laid the groundwork for future stories."

—The Mystery Reader

"The Ragged End of Nowhere moves at a rapid pace, forcing the reader to turn the pages as fast as they can. The author, Roy Chaney, has a hit on his hands with this debut novel. I highly recommend this for readers who enjoy fast-paced action and suspense reading."

—Steven Sill,

I Love A Mystery

"Roy Chaney's debut novel, The Ragged End of Nowhere, is pure mystery that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Though it is set in modern day Las Vegas, The Ragged End of Nowhere is an old fashioned crime mystery. It is no wonder that fans and critics are clamoring to see Bodo Hagen appear in another Las Vegas mystery."

—Joseph B. Hoyos,

Gumshoe

"A terrific first novel."

—The Mystery Bookstore (L.A.)

"A slick mystery set in modern Las Vegas, whose glitzy pyramids and pirate ships have not wiped away the city's reputation for crime, mobsters and murder. A page-turning thriller that deservedly won Tony Hillerman Prize."

—David Shaffer,

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"A refreshing, old style crime story. The story starts fast and keeps moving. Excellent."

—Douglas McWillliams,

Sacramento Book Review

bottom of page