The Kings of Sweat and Pain

I am proud to announce that one of the premier crime magazines in the UK (Near to the Knuckle) has just released one of my short stories The Kings of Sweat and Pain. Please check it out here: http://www.close2thebone.co.uk/  While you’re there check out some of the other stories from a collection of the best crime writers working in the trenches today.

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The Handlebar Mustache

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“Welcome to the Emerald Pony my friend, what can I getcha?” the old barkeep asked as I sat down along the brass rail.

“I’ll have a pint and a shot please.” I took off my jacket and looked around. The place was empty except for a small gaggle of old timers sipping quietly in a booth near the door. Fabric shaded lights cast a ruddy glow over the dark wood paneling, giving the place an old world feel.

The bartender placed a foaming glass of Guinness down in front of me next to a generous shot of Jameson. “What brings you to Boston?” He said as he wiped down the beer tap.

“I look that much like a tourist?” I said.

He shrugged and turned to place some pint glasses on a shelf. I looked over his shoulder and saw a picture frame hanging next to the mirror. Inside was a perfectly preserved handlebar mustache.

“What the hell is that?” I asked.

“Ah, that my friend is quite a story.” He said without turning around. “Buy another round and I’ll indulge your curiosity.” Read More

Dorothea Makes Her Rounds

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Dorothea didn’t think of herself as an “angel of mercy”. She simply provided a badly needed service that benefited the patients, and their families. She had spent years watching grieving families hover over loved ones that would never recover, and the hospital struggle to find room for the sick. She remembered the first one like it was yesterday. Read More

Harvey And The New Girl

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Harvey sat behind his desk and looked out through the glass at the new girl. The tellers at the bank turned over a lot and if he didn’t like the looks of one, all he had to do was wait. The last girl was a short Hispanic who chewed her gum too enthusiastically and occasionally picked her nose. This new girl however, she was a real number. Read More

A Real Page Turner

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The little outdoor cafe was brightly lit by the afternoon sun. A pitcher of lemonade sat on a small table shedding dime sized beads of condensation on the white table cloth below. Two men sat across from each other in matching rattan chairs. One man, a short overweight fellow, leaned forward, nervously blotting sweat from his balding pate. The other man, tall and lean, sat reclined, idly fanning himself with his tan fedora. Read More

Oil, Lather, and Steel

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The bell rang as Alex pushed open the door to Lou’s barber shop. It rang like it had for the last forty years, a sound from a different era. Lou and Billy D were sitting in the barber chairs reading the racing forms. Like the bell, they had done this for the last four decades. Lou folded his paper when he saw Alex, a warm smile washed over his wrinkled face. Read More

The Barrel

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I awoke to a stifling darkness, lacerated by a thin crescent of light. My world was spinning, and there was a hollow, metallic thrumming that pulsed through my head. I quickly realized it was the sound of a barrel as they rolled it off the truck bed and into the swamp. Read More

Hector’s Lament

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I slammed the Audi into gear and the backend fishtailed as the Pirelli’s grabbed asphalt. I looked at my watch and pounded the steering wheel with a gloved hand. It was going to be close. They would have been at the house by now. Two of them, black garb and facemasks. The claymores I planted at the front and back doors wouldn’t leave much for Hector or the cops to pick through, but it would buy me a little time. Read More