Boulevard Dreams by E Ryan Janz

Gallows humor injects this intelligent but dark noir set in the smoky world of 1958 San Francisco, as Private Eye, Joe Nails, experiences a series of surrealistic dreams, in which his once best friend pleads for his help, before turning a gun to his own head and firing. To ease his lingering doubts, Joe investigates, only to discover his friend disappeared a month before the dreams began. As his probe deepens, Nails discovers a conflicting portrait of his friend by a group of unforgettable characters who knew him best; from those intimating his disappearance is customary, to those suggesting he is on the lamb from mobsters, and to several insisting he is dead. But Joe yearns for the truth, and becomes embroiled in an encircling world of murder, deception, passion, and anguish, and as he races down a narrowing road toward the shocking reality of his friend’s fate, Joe Nails stares into the dreadful face of the unimaginable.