Polis Books

Available now in trade paperback and ebook!

“TRICKY blew me away. Josh Stallings has written a gritty, vibrant, riotously entertaining crime novel filled with unforgettable and deeply human characters.”―Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of NOVEMBER ROAD

"This is a finely crafted novel. Noirishly hard-boiled, the book is much more than a police procedural; it’s an exploration of some serious themes, such as personal redemption and the societal prejudices against the disabled."―Booklist

"Stallings makes Madsen a well-rounded lead, even as he keeps the reader guessing. Those looking for an alternative to standard police procedural whodunits will be rewarded."―Publishers Weekly

"Punk-rock poet Josh Stallings has written an intense new crime novel about the power of people to change. A moral tour-de-force that explores essential questions of reform and justice, Tricky is not to be missed." ―CrimeReads (One of the "10 Novels You Should Read This January")

"A great working level look of L.A. and wonderful laugh out loud humor. I can hear my friend's heart beating in this novel, reminding me why he is one of my favorite authors.”―Scott Montgomery, BookPeople

Cisco is found armed and standing over the body of a man with Down syndrome. Cisco swears the dead man was his good friend, and he didn’t hurt him, but in his earlier life, Cisco had been gang member, a brilliant and brutal killer. After he was badly beaten, brain injuries left him him―if he is to be believed―with the intellectual intelligence of a child. Madsen's search for the truth leads him through the special needs community, East LA gang life, and pits him up against the corrupt LA Sheriff’s Department. More than a police procedural, Tricky explores questions of human nature: Whether a man can change, for better or worse, and whether redemption is possible.