Hi, everyone. I'm looking for recommended titles that DO NOT feature a private investigator, cop, reporter, lawyer, etc. I'm looking for stand-alone books, where a civilian is pulled out of his everyday life to become involved in a mystery/adventure. My preference is for a male protagonist, and something stylistically similar to Chandler, Hammett, and MacDonald (although I don't have a preference for whether the book is modern older).

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
--Brian

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LA BRAVA is a great place to start reading Elmore Leonard. Just what you describe, if I remember right. A Vietnam vet runs a second-rate motel in Florida. Bad stuff happens... :-)
There are a lot of Elmore Leonard novels that might fit this, although often the "civilian" is on the other side of the law. Chili Palmer in Get Shorty and Be Cool, Harry Arno in Pronto, that kind of thing.

And they're all good.
The first one that came to mind for me was Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly.
Brian

go to www.abook2read.com and have a look at the title 'Adrenalin Rush' It's exactly what you are looking for!
Thanks for all of the responses--even from those of you who saw fit to recommend your own books.
I have already read much of Elmore Leonard's work, and I agree that it fits the bill. I will definitely check out Chasing the Dime. I love Connolly's Bosch novels, so I'm looking forward to it.

Best,
Brian
Have you ever read any Christopher Brookmeyer? He's a series charcter, journalist Jack Parlabane, but he also writes stand-alones and at least one of them, A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, is about a high school teacher (and a couple of students) pulled into a terrorists plot.

Set in Scotland, a lot of fun but also with some very good hard-boiled stuff.
I've written just such a book, as it happens. BONE MACHINES will shortly be available as a free e-book on my blog, but it was originally published by Bright Spark publishing in the UK in 2007. It's not USA, though, but set in Scotland. But definitely involves a civilian being pulled rather viciously out of his everyday life. You can either email me for an update, or go to my blog, and check over the next four or five days, when I hope to have it up there. bonemachines.wordpress.com

Regards
John
For my money you can do no better than Megan Abbott.
Tony Black's PAYING FOR IT. Not a standalone (there are currently 2) features an ex journalist and is set in Edinburgh. Or Al Guthrie's KISS HER GOODBYE )also set in Edinburgh). You could try Joe Lansdale's THE BOTTOMS - the protagonist is a young boy during the Depression in East Texas - wonderfully atmospheric. Eddie Muller's THE DISTANCE and SHADOW BOXER which feature a sportswriter called Billy Nichols - set in San Francisco in the late 1940s and two of my favourite books ever, Sean Doolittle's DIRT, Victor Gischler's GUN MONKEYS, Jason Starr's TWISTED CITY...I'd better stop there :o)
Anything by Charlie Huston -- trust me on this.
A recent book to check out is Roger Smith's Mixed Blood--this is about as hardboiled as you're going to get.

Some older books--Dead City by Shane Stevens, Name of the Game is Death by Dan Marlowe, Cockfighter, The Woman Chaser, The Shark-Infested Custard by Charles Willeford, Then you've got all the great James M. Cain and Jim Thompson novels, (Double Indemnity, Serenade, Savage Night, The Getaway, Hell of a Woman, Swell-Looking Babe).

I'll second Neil's recommendation of Charlie Huston's 'Caught Stealing'--it's terrific.

While this is a 4-book series featuring a British police investigator (which is what you claim you don't want), Derek Raymond's 4 factory series books that have recently been reprinted by Serpent's Tail are just amazing. Really incredible stuff, maybe the best modern (last 40 years) crime fiction written.
How about Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen – not very Chandleresque, but funny.

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