five years after shooting his way out of a bad situation as his best friend lie
bleeding to death on a crack house floor, Nicholas Vandameir’s finally pulled his
life together. He’s inherited his old man’s bar and started a
family. But there’s a new map being drawn of the city, and someone
with a long memory and a lot of political juice wants Nick’s bar out of the
way. It’s the traditional way things get done in Jersey
But Nick's not a traditional guy, and neither are his friends: a corrupt cop looking
for redemption and a crane operator caught between his conscious and his union.
They’re not about to let the city council declare eminent domain on their
favorite liver pickling station without a fight.
I still hear it in my head, twenty years after the
commercials went off the air, the jingle for the Keansport Amusement Park.
out, It’s a fun place, a family place’
I went to Keansport once, to clean up a mess for the
committee. And it wasn’t a fun place; unless your idea of fun involves
proorly constructed rollercoasters, guns, and the smell of decomposing horeshoe
crabs littering the beach.
As for a family place; certain members of the insect family come to mind:
praying mantises, black widow spiders. Yeah, I’ve spent some quality time in
Keansport, and I’d pack my bags to hell before I book a return trip.
Striking telephone technician Reilly has a personal problem
with Miles Patrick Donovan, a barroom brawling biker who
can’t seem to keep his anger in check on the picket line. Reilly's found temporary
work at a bar making a few hundred a week and all the free booze necessary to continue his pickling
experiment on his liver. Donovan disappears and his union rep wants him back to see his dying old man one last time. As long
as Reilly's looking for Donovan, he can spend his mornings nursing his
hangover instead of carrying a picket sign. Unfortunately Reilly's not the only
one looking for Donovan, and the competition has
deeper psychological problems than alcoholism.
Tony is the kind of guy whose name is invariably preceded
by 'alleged’ whenever he makes the papers. The clerks at Ellis
Island changed his Grandfather’s last name from Carlucci to Carlisle.
He’s thinking of changing it back, for business purposes. When his best friend
is murdered by someone he can’t get through his normal channels, he has to go
through the legal ones, and he calls in a marker from the first man he ever
wanted to kill; private investigator Reilly. Reilly’s suffering from all three Irish curses. Fortunately he only remembers
what two of them are. But he’s one to pay back a debt, even if it means taking
on a corrupt New Jersey State Trooper.
the First two Chapters originally
published at Allan
‘Trifecta’ Mazzucco asks you to collect 50 large from a cab driver with a
turban surgically attached to his head, you collect the money. Because you
know, deep down, he’s not really asking, he’s telling. You get that cash
even after you find out the ‘client’ owes an equal amount to the Russian
mob, and has a knife wielding Gurkha psycho for a brother in law. At least you’ll have some fun between the sheets tracking
down the money, with your girlfriend’s new found fascination with
sadomasochism, and half your other clients with no other way to pay the vig
besides offering up their bodies.
My name’s Finbar McGantry, and if I can manage
put some money into my unofficial 401k plan, and keep up with my girl’s new
found sexual perversion, I’ll be retiring from Tullio’s organization for good.
It’s going to be a long couple of weeks.