I’m recovering from surgery last Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder. It’s fairly painful, even with meds, and you might think that would make typing a bit tough.
Actually, it does … but I wrote this a few days before the surgery, and scheduled publication for today so it would seem like things were going along just fine.
But what kind of sympathy would I get for that? ;-)
My Kirkus Review
To say I was on “pins and needles” waiting for the recent Kirkus Review for my debut novel, REICHOLD STREET, would be putting things mildly, to say the least.
Kirkus Reviews … long considered the book industry’s most ferocious trade publication … has long had a reputation for lively, unpredictable reviews that are sometimes outlandishly harsh.
However, I was delighted to get this comment from them about the book: “Skillfully written and emotionally charged.”
They also had this to say about a section that deals with Anthony, one of the minor characters:
“…told by a Reichold Street kid lured by organized crime, it makes a fine stand-alone story.”
I thought I would share a small portion of that section with you, and let you decide for yourself …
I don’t know exactly why the detective was getting paid by Sam, but I knew, like me, it probably wasn’t for something on the level. I didn’t say anything and I stayed in Sam’s good graces.
However, like I said, life can change on a dime. I’d heard that said so many times and I knew I’d hit one of those dimes. I apparently screwed up something and wasn’t getting any more assignments.
Sam was angry.
“He don’t like no wrong info, Rat,” Train told me. He looked at me like I was a fish in a bowl.
“I didn’t give him any bad information.”
“Anthony, Anthony,” Train said as he squinted at me just like Sam, “was it not you who told us Albert Parker was back in town?”
“Yeah, I guess I did.”
“And did we not try to pop the wrong mark?”
I didn’t know they had tried to kill Albert. That information scared the hell out of me. I just looked at Train without answering.
“Did you, Anthony, forget to include one important detail?”
“Like Parker was already dead.”
“How was I to know when they said Albert was back they were talking about his body being back here for his funeral?”
“It’s what Sam pays you for.”
“So I screwed up.”
“Sam don’t like screw ups,” Train said.
He put one beefy hand into the other and cracked his knuckles. He switched them around and cracked the knuckles on the other hand. The sound seemed to echo in the small room.
Beads of perspiration broke out on my forehead. “It was one time,” I said, “One time.”
“Big Sam put a lot of effort into following up on your bogus chinwag,” Train said. “A lot of money, too. He even paid you quite handsomely, remember?”
“Does he want the money back?” I asked. “I’ll give it back. I don’t want to get paid for bad information.”
“Sam don’t want no money back,” Train said. “That’s the least of his worries. He’s got a lot of heat comin’ down on him from the local Mounties because of you and your bad noise. It’s costing him big time.”
I thought of the detective Sam had been paying and imagined I understood.
“Sam don’t like that very much,” Train said.
“I didn’t mean to cause any problem.”
“He also had to crush one of his favorite rides,” Train said. “They were sweet wheels. You got no idea how much that messed with his head.” Train cracked his knuckles again. “Sam don’t like to do shit like that. Thinks it’s a waste.”
“So what’s he gonna do? Have you shoot me?”
I was really afraid of the answer. I hoped Train didn’t see me turn toward the door, although I was pretty sure it wouldn’t have made much difference if he did.
“No, fool, nothin’ as drastic as that. He got no reason to pop a cap on you…yet. You can still be valuable.”
I breathed a little easier, but only for a moment.
“He did, however, take the liberty of showing you he means business,” Train mused.
“How?” I inhaled without exhaling.
“He had me gank something important to you.”
“Like what,” I said.
Train tossed an oversized pink bow on the table and my heart must have stopped. In my memory it floated from Train’s beefy fist in a high arc toward the table. It seemed to spin when it landed for such a long time.
There was a sudden rush of air, followed by a loud noise. It took me a moment to realize it was my scream.
I fell to my knees, and started to sob like a baby.
It was Edith’s bow.
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