by Ross Klavan, Tim O'Mara, & Charles Salzberg
on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2020
"Cut Loose All Those Who Drag You Down":
A crooked reporter who fronts for the mob and who’s been married eight times gets a visit from his oldest friend, a disgraced and defrocked shrink. The man is in deep trouble and it’s clear somebody is going to pay with his life.
After smuggling cigarettes, maple syrup, and coffee, Aggie discovers a much more sinister plot to exploit what some consider a precious commodity: the trafficking of under-aged children for the purposes of sex.
"The Fifth Column":
Months after America’s entry into World War II, a young reporter uncovers that the recently disbanded German-American Bund might still be active and is planning a number of dangerous actions on American soil.
This book contains three short stories, two of which are noir. As is often the case in a collection with various authors, my opinions on the stories vary. The one by Klavan was the one I liked the least. There was a great deal of foul language, drug taking, being stoned and other debauchery. Klavan tells a story about a down and out newspaper reporter who has been married eight times and an ex-doctor who is in trouble with the mob. Not much character development and no good moral to the story.
O'Mara's story was a bit more to my liking. Some truck drivers probably work for a mob boss who draws the line at human trafficking. There is sort of a moral to this story that even bad guys draw the line at what they are willing to see happen. I was glad to see the bad guys win out over the worst guy.
I liked the story by Salzberg best of all. I felt it was actually a fully formed short story. It was informative about WW II Nazi sympathizers such as those on the Murphy Ranch on the West Coast and Camp Siegfried on Long Island. It has a good hero in Jake, the newspaper reporter willing to get the entire story. The plot is great as it mixes fiction with historical fact. The galley I read could have used some editing. Maggie uses her parents' car to take Jake and his stuff down to New York (Loc 2327/3838) but she is going back on the train (Loc 2377/3838) And a sentence is repeated a few paragraphs apart. (Loc 2351/3838)
Low marks for the first two stories but high marks for the last one.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Read an excerpt from ”The Fifth Column” by Charles Salzberg:
Read an excerpt from ”Cut Loose All Those Who Drag You Down” by Ross Klavan:
Ross Klavan has published two other noir novellas with Down and Out: “I Take Care Of Myself In Dreamland” and “Thumpgun Hitched” both in collections with Charles Salzberg and Tim O’Mara. His darkly comic novel “Schmuck” was published by Greenpoint Press in 2014. Klavan’s screenplay for the film Tigerland was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and was directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Colin Farrell. He’s written screenplays for InterMedia, Walden Media, Miramax, Paramount, A&E and TNT. As a performer, Klavan’s voice has been heard in dozens of feature films including “Revolutionary Road,” “Sometimes in April,” “Casino,” “In and Out,” and “You Can Count On Me” as well as in numerous TV and radio commercials. In other lives, he was a reporter and anchorman for WINS Radio, RKO Network and LBC (London, England) and a member of the NYC alternative art group Four Walls. He lives in New York City.
Charles Salzberg, a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer, has been nominated for two Shamus Awards, for Swann's Last Song and Second Story Man. He is the author of 5 Henry Swann novels, Devil in the Hole, called one of the best crime novels of 2013 by Suspense magazine, Second Story Man, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award, and his novellas Twist of Fate and The Maybrick Affair, appeared in Triple Shot and Three Strikes. His short stories have appeared in Long Island Noir (Akashic), Mystery Tribune and the crime anthology Down to the River (edited by Tim O'Mara). He is a Founding Member of New York Writers Workshop and is on the board of MWA-NY, and PrisonWrites.
Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On:
Tim O’Mara is the Barry-nominated (he didn’t win) author of the Raymond Donne mystery novels. He’s also the editor of the short crime story anthology Down to the River, published by Down & Out Books. Along with Smoked and Jammed, Beaned completes the Aggie Trilogy.
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
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