by Ross Klavan, Tim O'Mara, and Charles Salzberg
on Tour September 1 - October 31, 2018
by Ross Klavan
Bartok is horribly scarred. Wounded in the Army, he roams through 1970’s New York, a city of perpetual night, punctuated by crime and populated by streetwalkers, hooker bars, strip clubs, easy drugs and a feeling of doom. There’s one thing on his mind: an experience he had when his Army truck exploded, an experience he calls Red River. More than bliss, more than spiritual. But nothing goes right. Bartok loses his girl, his money, any possibility of support and decides that he’s finished, he’s going to end it but before he does, he’s going out on the town for one last attempt to recapture the incredible experience of Red River. And when he does, he runs into others who see him as an easy mark for dirtier plans…plans that involve murder before suicide.
Bartok’s story is told by a driver for the mob, a guy who’s heard it all and usually keeps his mouth shut because when he begins a trip, it’s almost always one-way.
Jammedby Tim O’Mara
Aggie’s back. After barely escaping with his life in “Smoked,” Aggie disproves the old adage of “Once burned…” This time around he’s heading from the Midwest to New York City with a sweet shipment of stolen maple syrup. He also has picked up an unwanted-and potentially dangerous-passenger; the fifteen-year-old daughter of his latest boss has hopped on for a free ride to the Big Apple and her on-line boyfriend. When they arrive in NYC, Aggie’s worst fears are realized when the “boyfriend” turns out to be a group of human traffickers. Aggie knew that running one of the world’s most valuable liquids across state lines was skirting the line between safety and danger, but he never knew it could get this sticky.
The Maybrick Affairby Charles Salzberg
It’s a couple weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor and a young reporter, Jake Harper, who works for a small Connecticut newspaper, is assigned a routine human interest story. A reclusive, elderly woman, has quietly passed away in her small cottage upstate. Anxious for bigger stories, Jake begins his assignment by trying to find out who this woman was and what kind of life she led. As Jake investigates the old woman’s death he finds that years earlier she was tried and convicted of murdering her husband in a well-publicized, lurid trial in London, England. And, after digging further, he, unearths evidence that she might have had a connection to an even more famous British serial killer and that the ramifications of this story might affect America’s entry into the War.
As is often the case with novella collections, the writing of the three authors varies in style.
The first story is dark and was not my favorite. We are privy to Bartok's life and how much of his body became heavily scarred. We follow him around while he is in an alcohol and then drug induced haze. I found the narrative a bit confusing as we begin in the present, then go back and then move forward and then the day before, etc. I didn't find any worthwhile lesson gained from this story.
I liked the next story better. Even though Aggie is driving a truck full of stolen goods, he has a conscience. He is outraged by the idea if human trafficking. That was refreshing. One gets the idea that Aggie is out to right a wrong. I like that. He is a character I'd like to read more about.
My favorite story in the collection was the last one. The author's writing style was easy to follow and the story was not dark. I really liked Jake. He's a fledgling newspaper reporter who has caught wind of a mystery with great historical and political importance. Something is afoot in the sleepy town and Jake is determined to find out what it is. This novella is a well crafted, entertaining, and suspenseful mystery and I'll be looking for more from this author.
My overall rating: 4/5 stars.
Book Details:Genre: Crime
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: September 10th 2018
Number of Pages: 350
Series: 3 Authors, 3 Novellas
Purchase Links: Down & Out Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt from I Take Care of Myself in Dreamland
Read an excerpt from Jammed
Read an excerpt from The Maybrick Affair***
Excerpt from Three Strikes by Ross Klavan, Tim O'Mara and Charles Salzberg. Copyright © 2018 by Ross Klavan, Tim O'Mara, and Charles Salzberg. Reproduced with permission from Down & Out Books. All rights reserved.
Ross KlavanRoss Klavan’s work spans film, television, radio, print, live performance and visual art. A novella, “Thump Gun Hitched,” was published in 2016 by Down and Out Books as part of “Triple Shot” along with Charles Salzberg and Tim O’Mara. His darkly comic novel Schmuck was published by Greenpoint Press in 2014. Klavan’s original screenplay for the film Tigerland was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the film was released by New Regency starring Colin Farrell. He recently finished an adaption of John Bowers’ The Colony and has written scripts for Miramax, Intermedia, Walden Media, Paramount, A&E and TNT-TV among others. The “conversation about writing” he moderated with Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer was televised and published as Like Shaking Hands with God, and his short stories have appeared in magazines and been produced by the BBC. An earlier novel, Trax, was published under a pseudonym. His play How I Met My (Black) Wife (Again), co-written with Ray Iannicelli, has been produced in New York City, and he has performed his work in numerous theaters and clubs. He has acted and done voice work in TV and radio commercials and has lent his voice to feature films including: Casino, You Can Count on Me, Revolutionary Road, Awake and the Amazon web series Alpha House, written by Gary Trudeau. He has worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in New York City and London. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Mary Jones.
Catch Up With Ross Klavan On: Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!
Tim O'MaraTIM O’MARA is best known for his Raymond Donne mysteries about an ex-cop who now teaches in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood he once policed: Sacrifice Fly (2012), Crooked Numbers (2013), Dead Red (2015), Nasty Cutter (2017), published by Minotaur Books (#1–#3) and Severn House (#4). He recently signed a deal for a fifth Raymond book, The Hook, which should be published in late 2019 by Severn House. His novellas Smoked and Jammed appear in 2016 and 2018 crime trilogies from Down & Out Books. O’Mara taught special education for 30 years in the public middle schools of New York City, where he still lives and teaches adult writers. In addition to writing The Hook and the stand-alone high-school-based crime drama So Close to Me, O’Mara is currently curating a short crime story anthology to benefit the non-profit American Rivers.
Catch Up With Tim O'Mara On: timomara.net, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!
Charles SalzbergCharles Salzberg is a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer. He is the author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann's Last Song, and the sequels, Swann Dives In, Swann's Lake of Despair and Swann's Way Out. His novel, Devil in the Hole, was named one of the best crime novels of 2013 by Suspense magazine. His latest novel is Second Story Man. He is co-author of Triple Shot, with Ross Klavan and Tim O'Mara (three crime novellas). He teaches writing in New York City and is on the board of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America.
Catch Up With Charles Salzberg On: charlessalzberg.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!
Tour Participants:Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the Three Strikes by Ross Klavan, Tim O'Mara and Charles Salzberg Participants.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest oc the copy of this post was provided by Partneers in Crime Virtual Book Tours.