Rex Burns

Rex Burns

Rex Burns (b. 1935) is the author of numerous thrillers set in and around Denver, Colorado. Born in California, he served in the Marine Corps and attended Stanford and the University of Minnesota before becoming a writer. His Edgar Award-winning first novel, The Alvarez Journal (1975) introduced Gabe Wager, a Denver police detective working in the Organized Crime Unit. Burns continued this hardboiled series through ten more novels, concluding it with 1997’s The Leaning Land. The Avenging Angel (1983) was adapted as a feature film, Messenger of Death, starring Charles Bronson.

Burns other series stars Devlin Kirk, a Denver private detective whose specialty is industrial security. Introduced in Suicide Season, Kirk appeared in two more novels. Once the author of a monthly mystery review column in the Rocky Mountain News, Burns has also written non-fiction and hosted the Mystery Channel’s Anatomy of a Mystery. He lives and writes in Boulder, Colorado. You can find his website at this link

“Among the best fictional police writers . . .  [Burns] avoids clichés and provides us with good, intense narrative... within a truthful framework.” - National Centurion: A Police Lifestyle Magazine

“[Burns'] Denver is a gritty urban nightmare, finely re-created, decades beyond the Old West of Zane Grey and Max Brand. It's gone sleazy with a kind of casual violence that we associate with traditional fictional westerns.” - People

“Burns is a first-rate story teller with a keen eye for procedural detail and the Colorado scene. His characters are real and superbly drawn, Westerners in every sense, and he moves them skillfully throughout his story.” - Asbury Park Press


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