Thursday, June 17, 2021

What I Learned From This "Final" Draft

 

Most authors will tell you no two books are written the same way. While there are always many similarities, process evolves as the author matures, more or less time is available, and deadlines approach. I’m a big believer that continued success at anything depends on a well-defined, well-conceived, and repeatable process, so I’m always looking for ways to refine mine.

 

Last week I finished the final draft of the seventh Penns River novel. (More on that “final draft” business later.) I’ve learned a lot.

 

Scrivener is a big help. I use little of its functionality, but its assistance with notetaking and outline maintenance is a huge timesaver.

 

An experiment from the previous book—retyping the first draft instead of editing it—works well. It’s far easier to leave your darlings along the side of the road than it is to kill them.

 

I’ve always printed out a draft and read it aloud as part of the process. My vision issues make that more of a challenge, so having Word read chapters aloud while I follow along allows me to focus on listening, which catches a lot of things I might otherwise have missed. I still “proofread” each chapter aloud for The Beloved Spouse™ as the final check.

 

If a sentence or paragraph isn’t working no matter what I try, maybe it doesn’t belong. I cut it, let Word read the surrounding text again, and see if I miss it.

 

Now that I’m retired and my schedule is much more fluid, I’ve learned I don’t need a routine to write effectively. I sit down when I have time, or when I feel like it, and I write. No need to ease into it. My subconscious is always working on the work(s) in progress; tapping into that shouldn’t require a lot of effort. I rest transparently for a bit if need be. I think watching Jonathan Mayberry grab bits of writing time at a C3 conference implanted the idea without me realizing it at the time. This also makes it a lot easier for me to have concurrent ongoing projects.

 

Last but not least, I keep my mind open for ways to improve. Three-quarters of the way through what I fully intended to be the final draft, I began a re-read of James Ellroy’s Blood’s a Rover. Just a few nights’ reading convinced me my narrative and descriptions were too wordy. I’m not talking about trimming things to Ellroy’s level of staccato, but dialog is my strength, so I need to get to the next bit quick as I can. In my universe, narrative’s job is to move the story, not paint beautiful sentences. Readers can’t envision exactly what I see in my head, so I only need to give them enough to paint their own pictures; everything else is superfluous. More detailed descriptions are useful to me in early drafts, but the reader has little or no use for them.

 

So it wasn’t the final draft after all. I’ll leave it sit a few weeks while I do a read-through of the Western, then take a vacation. When I get back I’ll do what I’m referring to as the Ellroy Draft, then it will be done.

 

I hope. I have lots of other stuff I want to get to.

 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Public Service Announcement: Beware Honest Thief

 

The Beloved Spouse™ and I have streamed a couple of stinkers from stars we usually enjoy. My first thought was to attribute both films’ flaws to COVID-related production issues, but it occurred to be the scripts were greenlit before things started shutting down.

 

I don’t often post just to dump on something, but this is a public service. Spoilers abound, and that’s so you don’t flush away parts of your precious lives like we did.

 

The film under discussion is Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson. Unhinged, with Russell Crowe, is even worse.

 

The initial premise is intriguing. A robber names Tom has taken $9 million from seven banks over the past few years. He meets a woman, falls in love, and decides to turn himself in. I can buy this. First, it’s Liam Neeson. Second, I have a close friend who did something similar.

 

You’re probably thinking it’s a legal thriller. Robber goes to a lawyer, who calls the US Attorney (bank robbery is a federal crime), but things go awry in the red tape and politics of DOJ. Neeson’s the crook, Paul Giamatti’s his lawyer, and Will Patton or Bob Balaban plays the smarmy pud DOJ functionary who sends things reeling. I’d watch that.

 

Our crook doesn’t do that. He calls the FBI tip line with all the other wackos. They, of course do not take him seriously. How can he convince them? Well, he still has the money. Hasn’t spent a dime. How about if he tells them where it is? The feds finally send a couple of agents around and, lo and behold, they decide to keep the money and say it was never there. Go so far as to kill their boss when he starts checking up on them.

 

Tom’s not a complete idiot. He only gave the feds the location of three million. (The rest is in the next storage unit over.) He’s now engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the crooked feds and their dead boss’s partner, who smells something fishy.

 

One of the feds is a lot more bent than the other. He’s the one who killed the boss (played by Robert Patrick, who would have been better served by revisiting his Terminator 2: Judgment Day skills, re-fabricated himself around the bullet would, and made his finger into a pokey thing to stab the crooked fed in the eye), and tried twice to kill our robber-hero’s girlfriend.

 

His younger partner shows signs of indecision. In fact, he is so indecisive he foregoes multiple opportunities to come clean at no risk to himself, thus donning a red shirt for the entire second half of the movie. (You can’t see it, but you know it has to be there, if only because he’s too stupid to live.)

 

Did I mention Tom way) is a demolitions expert? He blows up the really bent fed’s house as a warning. Houses on either side remain undisturbed in this fashionable Boston suburb, where a quick look will show you this can’t have been this cop’s first foray into illegality, as no FBI agent could afford that house in that neighborhood. (Why doesn’t the FBI keep tabs on this shit?)

 

This review is getting as tedious as the movie, so I’ll cut to the end. Our crook-hero sets up the fed by telling him there’s a pressure bomb under his car seat after he fled the house explosion. The bomb squad finds no detonator, but the ruse held Nemesis there long enough for our crook-hero to lay out all the evidence he’d accumulated so the dead boss’s partner is there to pick up the pieces.

 

In the end, Liam Neeson will do a couple of years in a minimum-security prison near Boston so his sweetheart can visit him. Apparently the local cops don’t have a problem with people blowing up entire houses in their jurisdiction.

 

This essay barely scratches the surface of the problems with this movie. Save yourselves now.

 

You’re welcome.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

John McFetridge, Author of Every City is Every Other City

 It’s always a treat when John McFetridge stops by for a visit; if just doesn’t happen often enough. John’s a good friend and one of a small group of writers whose books I read as soon as they come out. The sole reason it’s been tso long since he was here is because he hasn’t written a book in a while, and I refuse to reward that kind of behavior in someone I enjoy reading so much, good friend or not.

 

His new book, Every City is Every Other City, is John’s first entry into the PI genre, and it’s as good, and unique, first PI book as I’ve read. We’ll talk about the book, his evidence hiatus, and what’s in store in the next few minutes. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his return as much as I have.

 

One Bite at a Time: Welcome back. It’s been too long since you were here. Of course, it’s been too long since you wrote a book. Why the hiatus?

John McFetridge: Thanks for the welcome. When I finished the 1970s Montreal trilogy I wasn’t sure what to do next. I co-edited Montreal Noir for Akashic and co-edited 2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush and then I got involved with the organizing team for Bouchercon Toronto and edited the anthology, Passport to Murder.

 

OBAAT: This is your first stab at a PI novel. What made this the right time to go there?

JM: Let’s hope it’s the right time. It has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. You know that line about all novelists having one in the drawer? Well, I have a few in that drawer and the first one was a PI novel I wrote in the late 80s. But what really made this the right time for me was that I didn’t want to write about cops or professional criminals. Not as the main characters. I wanted to see the world through the eyes of someone who isn’t normally involved in the world of crime.

 

OBAAT: Gordon Stewart is the most low-key PI I’ve seen since Jim Rockford. Plus, he’s not a full-time PI. What led you to these decisions?

JM: Gord isn’t quite an amateur sleuth, he’s got a PI license and does work for a large agency when there isn’t any movie production going on in Toronto, but he is a reluctant sleuth. That’s what I was thinking about that may have led him to become what seems like low-key. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize until I finished writing this book and was looking back at my other books that I discovered a theme I keep coming back to is the reluctance of some characters to really get into the game, to really commit to it, so to speak. I don’t think of writing as therapy but I think maybe that says something about my own approach. Maybe something I should take a closer look at.

 

OBAAT: Gord’s other gig is location scout for movies and TV. Where did that combo come from?

JM: I was a location scout and I thought it could be a good fit – finding places, finding people, they both involve a lot of working independently, asking around, driving, spending time alone. Plus there are usually some interesting characters on movie sets. 

 

OBAAT: I don’t see an obvious corollary in the PI canon that seems to lead to Gord, with the possible exception of Rockford. Which authors, books, or movies influenced you? 

JM: The big influences were Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski. And also a Canadian PI, Benny Cooperman created by Howard Engel. And Gregory McDonald’s Fletch. And Jim Rockford. One of the highlights of my writing life was writing an episode of a TV show that was directed by Stuart Margolin. At the table read I couldn’t help just smiling like and thinking, “I’m sitting next to Angel!” It took every ounce of strength I had not to call him Angel. Which was made easier by the fact he’s a very professional director and a warm and friendly guy, not really like Angel at all.

 

OBAAT: Who, or what, is the inspiration for Ethel, who is as a unique, and believable, a sidekick, as I’ve seen?

JM: Ethel Mack. Ethel MacGillicuddy. She says in passing that it’s not her real name and now one of my goals is to write a series and never give out her real name. There is some Lucy in her, and some Imogene Coca, and some more recent comedians. And for a few years my son took classes at Second City in Toronto so there is some of the attitudes of the instructors there. In the book I’m working on now someone commenting on her helping Gord says that she’s his Susan Silverman and Ethel says, “Please, I’m Hawk.” Gord, of course, doesn’t know who they’re talking about.

 


OBAAT
: Gord’s other job and his relationship with Ethel allow you to explore a lot of popular culture, especially movies. Was that a serendipitous side effect, or was that the plan from the start?

JM: It was the plan. It was something I knew about so I wouldn’t have to research too much. Plus it’s a way to use material from screenplays I’ve written that didn’t sell. And I figure most people who pick up a PI novel these days are pretty familiar with the genre and with the kind of pop culture that gets referenced.

 

OBAAT: What’s next on your agenda? Another Gordon Stewart?

JM: Yes. It’s called It’s Always About the Money. I hope it will be out this time next year. Having a PI novel published is a dream come true for me and I don’t want to stop now. Plus, now I hope I can come to the Shamus Awards dinner at Bouchercon.

 

 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Get to the Point

 

Raymond Chandler is responsible for my interest in writing. (Yes, it’s his fault.) I’d loved private eye stories for years, but Chandler made me think this was something I’d like to try; level of accomplishment didn’t enter into it. The early Nick Forte books owe a lot to Philip Marlowe.

 

As I age, though, I find I am not as entertained by Chandler’s work as I used to be, though my appreciation remains solid. This is probably Dashiell Hammett’s fault. Or George V. Higgins’s. Elmore Leonard. Ed McBain. I love the use of language as much as ever, probably even more. What I appreciate is getting to the point.

 

Recent readings of Chandler find my eye skipping down the page during some of the longer descriptions. True, I’ve read them all before, but there was a time when I’d linger over even a re-reading just to let the words spend more time in my head. Now I want the author to get on with it.

 

That’s not to say I no longer care about style or a well-turned phrase, only that I am no longer interested in either of those things for their own sake. They need to serve the story. It’s hard to create vivid images in as few words as possible. That’s what makes it worth doing and separates the excellent from the good, and the great from the merely excellent.

 

Which brings us to Daniel Woodrell. I read Under the Bright Lights a few weeks ago, and his ability to exercise economy in language while still provoking me to re-read sentences just for the joy or hearing them in my head again is unsurpassed. One that sticks out is from a description of a daylight shooting on a side street, after which a character “watched people pour toward Seventh Street like a fistful of BBs down a funnel.” There are others, but that one sums up the essence of Woodrell’s craft as well as any. (His art is a topic for another day.)

 

I read Winter’s Bone several years ago and still remember his description of people who worked from “can till can’t” and a father who doctors “didn’t think would live the night until he did.” His humor is also dry, and funny, while still remaining on point. I never feel as though he cuts anything short. It’s exactly enough for his style and purpose.

 

The best art is often that which does the least to draw attention to itself. It does not demand appreciation; it makes itself available to be appreciated. Much of the beauty lies in a willingness to remain unnoticed, or at least under-noticed. Woodrell’s not unknown; neither does he attract the attention of others I could name but will not so as not to seem as if I am denigrating their work. I suspect that’s all right with him. It is with me.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

It's a Book Release Double Header!

 It’s not often that writers, even at my level of the food chain, get to celebrate two releases in the same week. Yet here I am, with two new books out in the past week.

 

One is a collaboration. I have a story in the anthology, The Eviction of Hope, edited by Colin Conway. This is as unique a concept as any anthology I’ve been part of, or heard of. I can’t do a better, or more concise, description than Colin did, so here’s his idea of the book’s concept:

 

More than a century ago, developer Elijah Hope constructed a state-of-the-art hotel. As the generations passed and tastes changed, The Hope spent two decades as an underutilized office building before conversion into a low-income housing project.

 

Rundown by years of human occupation, The Hope has become a hollow shell of its once great self. It is home to drug addicts, petty criminals, and those hiding from others. The city has long turned a blind eye to The Hope as surrounding neighborhoods gentrified and pushed their disaffected in its direction.

 

But now The Hope is preparing a return to its original glory. The current owners plan to convert it into a boutique hotel. The only thing standing in their way is the eviction of over one hundred units.

 

Each resident knew this fateful day was coming, yet most chose to believe it would never arrive. They ignored the posted signs, the hand-delivered warnings, and even the actual notices.

 

Many stayed until the bitter end.

 

These are their stories.

 

I’m delighted with how my story came out, and proud to have been asked to contribute. It’s an excellent line-up of authors who all brought their A games. Get your copy here.

 

On the personal front, Leaving the Scene is the sixth Penns River novel, available from Down & Out Books. As I deferred to Colin for the inside scoop on The Eviction of Hope, I’m probably the best person to describe Leaving the Scene.

 

 The more things change, the more they stay the same in Penns River. Stush Napierkowski has retired, replaced by retired Boston PD captain Brendan Sullivan. Nancy Snyder was promoted to deputy chief over several more experienced candidates. New officers join the department.

 

Crime pays no attention. A woman dies in a hit-and-run the night before Sullivan officially takes over. Patty Polcyn was seen by plenty of people while in the company of a man no one recognized, who may—or may not—drive a car consistent with tire marks left at the scene. The investigation demands an intensive search that requires manpower Penns River doesn’t have and loses steam as the day-to-day concerns of police work require immediate attention: domestic disputes, petty theft, not so petty theft, armed robbery, a visit from the Dixie mafia to shake down the town’s moonshine dealers, and a few things that are the responsibility of the police only because no one else takes care of them.

 

Sullivan doesn’t want the first homicide on his watch to be an open file and tasks Teresa Shimp, the most junior detective in a squad already down one, to spend as much time as she can on it. It’s Teresa’s first gig as primary homicide investigator. She sticks with it, going back over things to see what might make more sense as her knowledge of the case’s facts expands until she has a eureka moment.

 

Sullivan’s approach differs from Stush’s enough to cause friction in the department, and a personal dilemma for lead detective Ben “Doc” Dougherty. Doc also has his parents’ failing health, a dramatic change in the domestic situation of two young men he has become close to, and finding an old friend has colored outside the lines vying for his attention.

 

Penns River’s cast changes, as do the roles they play. The job is still the job.

 

LtS is the most Joseph Wambaugh-influenced of the Penns River series in the manner of storytelling, jumping from anecdote to anecdote to show the myriad of things cops have to deal with in a typical day. I’m happy with how it came out. I hope you are, too.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Leaving the Scene, Chapter One

 

I used the opening of Leaving the Scene to set up the changes in Penns River since Pushing Water and to give little hints about what might be to come. The novel drop on Monday from Down & Out Books.

 

LEAVING THE SCENE

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

The American Legion function room was about half empty when Ben “Doc” Dougherty pulled a folding chair next to Stan “Stush” Napierkowski and asked what the plan was for tomorrow.

Stush tipped his can of Rolling Rock toward Doc in salute. “Get up around six. Make coffee. Read the paper.”

Doc waited until he was sure Stush had finished. “You do understand you’ll wake up retired, right? Live a little. Sleep till quarter after. Tempt fate and go for six-thirty.”

“It’s not like I’ll set an alarm. I been getting up at six for so long I do it on Sundays and vacations.”

They sat two feet apart, watching the room with cop eyes as the party lost steam. Doc asked if Stush had plans beyond coffee and the paper.

“I might run over to Oak Lake. See can I scare up a foursome.”

“They gave you a lifetime membership at the country club. I hear that’s a hell of a nice course.”

Stush nodded. “Might be the best course in the area except for Oakmont. Played it a couple of times when the big shooters around here still cared about schmoozing me.” A sip of beer. “Look who I’d have to play with. Same jagovs spent the last five years trying to run me out of a job.”

“Won’t they be working?”

“It’ll either be them or some of their asshole buddies.” Stush sipped and looked in the general direction of the country club. “Maybe I’ll sneak over some Monday when they let the caddies and hired help play. My people.”

Doc knew the aluminum mill would reopen and run three shifts before Stush played the country club. “You’re Polish. You should bowl.”

“I will. Joe Rychlinski’s been trying to get me on his team in the Tuesday night Falcon’s league for a couple years. Now I have time.”

Doc watched Stush take in everyone still there the way a father looks at a child leaving for college. Forty years a Penns River cop, twenty-five as chief. Doc turned down half a dozen six-figure private security jobs after nine years in the Army so he could work for his Uncle Stush. Uncle in name only. Stush and Doc’s father friends since they worked together at the A&P right out of high school, Penns River still a township. Spoke so no one might overhear. “You trained us well, Uncle Stoshu. We’ll be okay.” Stush turned when he heard his boyhood name, eyes shining. “Everything I hear about Sullivan says he’s a good man,” Doc said.

“Sully’s aces.” Stush crushed the empty can. Held it up for Doris Renko to see from behind the bar. “Don’t know if I told you, but part of the reason I retired now is because he was available and interested. And the country club membership.” A wink.

“You’ll miss it, though.”

“Goddamn right.” As much emotion in Stush’s voice as if discussing how much a putt might break. Gestured to the room. “This is what I’ll miss. The job’s been a pain in my ass for a long time. Gave me a heart attack a few years ago. Sullivan’s welcome to it.”

Doc sipped his Foster’s. The only guy in town who drank it. Doris always kept a couple of the big oil cans cold for him. “What would you say changed the most since you came on? Besides getting cars.”

Stush accepted a fresh beer from George Augustine. Asked after Augie’s daughter in the Air Force. Turned back to Doc only after satisfying his curiosity. “I walked a beat, smartass. Knew every family on it. I told a kid to stop or come over here and he didn’t, I ran him down and gave him a couple swipes across the hammies with my baton. Told him if it happened again I’d take him home to his father. Anything I did be like kisses from his mother once his old man got through with him.”

“White kids?”

“Mostly, yeah. Not all. See, I didn’t just know the families. They knew me. I’d tell them I had to smack their kid’s ass and why, everyone was good with it.”

“Can’t do that now.”

“No, and it’s a good thing. A cop in a unit riding around all day can’t have the same kind of rapport. Or judgment. There’s too much distance. Cop in a car doesn’t know the people as well, someone lips off to him could end up in the hospital. Puts everyone in a jackpot having to write around it.”

“You must’ve put your share in there.”

Stush held up a finger. “One.” Saw Doc’s face. “Swear to God. Little half-pint Dago hanging around down by the tracks looking to boost stuff outta the boxcars pulled a knife on me and took a swipe.” Swallowed beer, his eyes smiling at the memory. “I guaran-goddamn-tee you that little cocksucker never pulled on a Polack again.”

The two men watched in companionable silence as the party wound down. Peers now after Doc had proven himself as a cop and a man more times than either could remember. Stush swished a sip of beer around in his mouth before he swallowed. “How’re the troops taking to Snyder as deputy?” Promoting Nancy Snyder from patrol to deputy chief over several men with more rank and seniority was Stush’s final personnel decision.

“My first choice would’ve been Mike Zywiciel, but he made it clear he didn’t want the job. To be honest, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory during that active shooter business at Rose’s last winter. He’s better off running patrol, though I doubt he’ll last a year with you gone.” Doc shook the last crumbs of pretzel and salt into his mouth. Washed it down. “Nancy’s probably a better choice. She has a good idea of the big picture, doesn’t rattle, and I doubt the mayor or any of the assholes who actually run this town will intimidate her. She’s fine.”

“Just fine?”

“What do you want me to say? She’s going to reinvent police work? My biggest issue with her getting the job is we’ll miss her on patrol.”

“And?”

“Jesus, Stush. And what? I have no problem working for her if that’s what you’re asking. Hell, I like working for her. She’s smart and on top of things, and she doesn’t play favorites with the people who were friends before the promotion. If you’re so worried about how she’s working out, why didn’t you let Sullivan pick someone?”

“Because he would’ve picked you, and you would’ve felt like you had to take the job, and I know how much you don’t want it.” Went on while Doc still gathered his thoughts. “Benny, you’re the most respected person on the force. You’d have been the perfect bridge between the old and the new, Sullivan’s obvious choice. Even the assholes who’ve been running me out would’ve recommended you as the best man to lubricate the transition.” More beer. “I know Sully a little. From conferences and around. He’s a persuasive guy. He’d of used arguments I never would because you and me go back so far. Guilt you into taking the job you’d hate. Not just hate it; hate it. I appointed Snyder as my parting gift to you, and because she was the next best qualified once I saw Zywiciel wasn’t up to it. Sullivan doesn’t want her, he can get rid of her.”

Stush seemed surprised to find himself leaning half out of his chair. Sat back and drew in some beer. “I didn’t bring her up to talk about you. How’s everyone else taking it? The people who wouldn’t tell me, I mean.”

“About what you’d expect. Some think she jumped the line. Some don’t like working for a woman. Some just like to bitch. Mostly everyone’s fine with her, and she’ll handle the others. From what you tell me about Sullivan, I doubt he’s going to put up with much bullshit, regardless of the reason.”

“Sully’s going to come down hard for a while, showing everyone else how far up the tree he can piss.” Stush folded his hands across his belly in his standard thinking pose, can of Rolling Rock poised between his fingers on the shelf. “She’ll be fine. Retiring now wasn’t exactly my idea, but my conscience is clear.”

The two men nursed their beers, far enough into the evening to know they didn’t want any more but not yet ready to go home. People came by every few minutes on their way out to congratulate Stush or break his balls or show they wanted to say something even if they had no idea what it was. Stan Napierkowski and Ben Dougherty were the closest things to heroes Penns River had. One was stepping down and the other wasn’t stepping up. Penns River lost something here tonight, and the town had little left to lose.

 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

New From Down & Out Books on May 17: Leaving the Scene, Book Six of the Penns River Series

 

The sixth Penns River book, Leaving the Scene, drops May 17 from Down & Out Books. Changes are afoot.

·       Stush Napierkowski has retired so

·       There’s a new chief.

·       There’s also a new deputy chief, promoted from within;

·       A new patrol officer begins work;

·       Series protagonist Doc Dougherty has an unwelcome change of status.

 

All the above and more revolve around a hit-and-run fatality. Two high school boys running their dog discover a badly mutilated body at an abandoned service station. She has no identification, so the police can’t even start work on the case until they have a name.

 

The daily crime and general weirdness that affects a town the size of Penns River doesn’t stop because the cops have a stone whodunit dropped in their laps. Routine calls for domestic disturbances, petty theft, grand theft, armed robbery, court dates, and a man covered in cooking oil wearing nothing but a sock. The new chief, a retired Boston police captain, finds himself up to his ears the day he starts work in what was supposed to be a less stressful position.

 

Six books into a series now with at least one more on the way (the work in progress is in final revisions, at least until the editor gets hold of it), and another half-formed in my head, the risk of staleness is always on my mind. Finding different types of stories and new ways to tell them now occupy a lot of my creative energy. Since Leaving the Scene focuses on conflicting demands for the cops’ time, the book is not laid out in chapters; it’s divided by days. Each section begins with the day and date; the time of day each scene begins is noted at the outset. The plan was to keep the passage of time in the reader’s mind as a way to show the frustration the cops feel as things keep dragging on with no resolution to the homicide.

 

Here’s what others have to say about Leaving the Scene:

 

A small town, a killing, and a cast of characters tough enough to make Elmore Leonard grin. Dana King’s Leaving the Scene is a slow burn that will leave you wanting more. A great read!

— Bruce Robert Coffin, bestselling author of the Detective Byron mysteries

 

Great read- ensemble cast, police procedural in a tough, blue-collar-town, with good reminders of classic Ed McBain. Gritty and authentic detail, with realistic, interesting characters and crimes.

-- Dale T. Phillips, author of A Memory of Grief and A Darkened Room

 

Dana King’s Leaving the Scene delivers the goods—a procedural packed with smart dialogue, sharp plotting, and a vivid humanity that brings to mind the best of McBain, Wambaugh, and Connelly.

--James D. F. Hannah, Shamus Award-winning author of the Henry Malone series.

 

With interweaving plots and quickfire dialogue, the relentless pace of Leaving the Scene is highly addictive.

--Caro Ramsay, Dagger shortlisted author of the Anderson and Costello mysteries

 

Next week I’ll post a teaser from the book.