The author of Blitz and the author of the Jesse Stone novels collaborate on a “rough and profane read” about two childhood friends who become criminals (Daniel Woodrell).
Nick’s Irish-American father, a Brooklyn rent-a-cop working security in the World Trade Center’s North Tower, named him after a Hemingway hero. The old man must have been expecting a different kind of kid. Because, like the R&B song says, Nick was born under a bad sign. As aimless as a stray bullet, his only constants are ’Nam movies, pulp novels, and an unquestioning devotion to his childhood friend, Todd, a Jewish New York con artist with connections to the Boston mob.
When Todd inducts Nick into his world of petty crime, it starts with reckless fun—scoring weed, low-level stings, and burglary. But the deeper they sink into the world of the syndicate, the more they realize how unknowable a friend can be, and how unprepared they are to rescue themselves, and their souls, from the gutter.
Alternately telling this “brutally poetic” story from the perspectives of Nick and Todd, award-winning “noir masters” Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Colemen “shine, dropping in-jokes, experimenting and displaying all the literary chops that have made their novels such cult favorites among mystery fans” (Publishers Weekly).
Divided into two halves, this short, brutally poetic tour of the underside of Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia marks the first collaboration between noir masters Bruen (The Guards) and Coleman (The James Deans). Drawing on the classic theme of childhood friends pulled toward different sides of the law, the coauthors tell the story of Nick and Todd in quick concise scenes, sketching backstories and love lives, flipping time and incidents like Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Running errands under the cold eyes of an enforcer, Griffin, for the Bible-quoting gangster Boyle, the heroes learn fast enough that "you live in the rain forest, you get wet." And looming symbolically over their narrow, violent world is the north tower of the World Trade Center. Bruen and Coleman shine, dropping in-jokes, experimenting and displaying all the literary chops that have made their novels such cult favorites among mystery fans.