Our protagonist Sand (the man nobody walks on!) wakes up in a piss-stinking alley in Skid Row with a bullet hole in his body and a bullet crease across his forehead. The head injury caused amnesia for a week, which is why a badass like Sand finds himself in this lowly circumstance.
In Gun in Cheek, Bill Pronzini’s “affectionate guide to the ‘worst’ in mystery fiction” (which I looked at here), he writes the following:
One of the more interesting Parker imitations is a man also known only by his last name–Sand, the protagonist of a number of novels by Ennis Willie. An [...]