Cobra Clutch is a fast-paced, hard-hitting debut novel by A.J. Devlin that features an unstoppable combo: a signature move of raucous humour with a super finisher of gritty realism.
“Hammerhead” Jed Ounstead thought he’d traded the pro-wrestling world for the slightly less dangerous one of a bar bouncer and errand boy for his father’s detective agency, but the squared circle wasn’t quite done with him yet. When his former tag-team partner draws upon their old friendship for help in finding his kidnapped pet snake, Jed finds himself dragged back into the fold of sleazy promoters, gimmicky performers, and violence inside and outside the ring. As the venom of Vancouver’s criminal underworld begins to seep into Jed’s life, a steel chair to the back of the head is the least of his problems.
ABOUT A.J. DEVLIN
A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California for six years...
A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California for six years where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Chapman University and a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. After working as a screenwriter in Hollywood he moved back home to Port Moody, BC, where he now lives with his wife and two children. Cobra Clutch is his first novel.
"A fast-paced, funny, energetic debut that brings to mind Carl Hiaasen and Robert Crais. In Cobra Clutch, Devlin ingeniously merges the worlds of pro wrestling and private eyes into a breakneck adventure that will leave readers breathless. Intense and cinematic.”
"Part Road House, part No Holds Barred. All badass."
"Hilarious, full of mischief and mayhem, Cobra Clutch is thoroughly entertaining!"
"Cobra Clutch masterfully blends humor, mystery, thrills, action, romance, and heart into a hell of a story featuring a lively wrestler-turned-PI hero. The action scenes are intense, the quiet times heartwarming and engaging, and the humor expertly interjected to accentuate characters and breathe realism into the story."
"Cobra Clutch is a terrific novel, bringing the seamier side of Vancouver to life, while amusing us with witty dialogue, startling characters, and amazing plot twists."
"Set in Vancouver, BC, this intriguing debut offers a fast-paced, graphically violent mystery that pairs well with Glen Erik Hamilton's Past Crimes. Fans of pro wrestling will appreciate 'Hammerhead' Jed.”
"Great escapism, great vicarious head-knocking, as well as lots of laughs along the way."
"Fans of Jack Reacher and 1980s action movies will happily add 'Hammerhead' Jed to their list of favorite heroes."
"A great, rollicking mystery / thriller / crime novel from A.J. Devlin, a fantastic first novel. Loved the first sentence and it only got better from there. A.J. does action well, along with excellent descriptions of Vancouver scenes, gritty and not-so-gritty. Can't wait for the next one!"
"Cobra Clutch uses humour and gritty realism and includes a former tag team partner, a kidnapped snake, sleazy promoters, and violence inside and outside the ring."
"Pro-wrestlers, scuzzy bikers, a yellow pet python, and a private detective -- how does Devlin hold it all together in this gritty page-turning novel? With a whole lot of style and a splattering of tongue-in-cheek humour."
"Not many mystery writers can combine humour, colorful characters, and an interesting plot in a debut mystery, but A.J. Devlin has done exactly this. Set in Vancouver, Devlin aptly describes the many diverse areas that make the city unique. Plot, pacing, subplots, and backstory are masterfully handled. Here's to a long line of 'Hammerhead' Jed mysteries."
"A.J. Devlin shows a passion for professional wrestling that results in a very authentic-feeling world full of colorful characters, twists and turns and plenty of banana milkshakes. As the story unfolds, you don't feel that this is a side trip to the protected and secretive universe of professional wrestling, but an integral part of Jed's character.”
"Cobra Clutch is a fast-paced, action-packed mystery with grit, heart, and plenty of humor.”
"...high-pitched violent action sequences, daring escapes, and a thrilling climax."
"...an outstanding debut.”
"Jed infiltrates the sleazy world of pro-wrestling and grapples with the dangerous Vancouver underworld in this engaging debut thriller, a finalist for the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery."
"...some good fun by A.J. Devlin.”