Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Peter Plate honed his craft while living in abandoned buildings and reciting his novels from memory at San Francisco clubs and cafes. His territory is the seedy Mission District; his protagonists are petty crooks, corrupt cops, and down-and-outers; his literary forebears are Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs. Plate's most ambitious novel to date, Police and Thieves is the breakout book his readers have been waiting for. The narrator, Doojie, is a small-time dealer who lives in a garage behind a laundromat with his two partners in crime. They sell dope of questionable quality at reasonable prices. But when one night Doojie sees a renegade cop shoot an unarmed Mexican, he knows that things are about to change. Soon he and his buddies are running for their lives. Fast, ferocious, gritty, and bleak, Police and Thieves is contemporary noir at its best.


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“An exciting crime novel that doesn't skimp on introspection … Rich with Mission history, Police and Thieves is a worthy addition to Plate's body of work.”

“Plate reveals a brutal, barbarous society, in which there is no honesty among thieves and law enforcers … [Police and Thieves] is a powerful, deeply felt book.”

“[Police and Thieves is] Plate's sixth novel in the past decade and probably his best. His San Francisco is a fiery hell, where the devil rides in a squad car, and God doesn't deign to put in an appearance.”

“Deliberate without being self-important, a rare treat in the world of fiction.”



Peter Plate taught himself to write fiction during the eight years he spent living in abandoned buildings. Also a spoken word artist, he has been known to recite his novels from memory. In 2004 Plate was named a Literary Laureate of San Francisco, where he lives.