“Jimmy’s Nephew”: Chapter One

My new novel, “Jimmy’s Nephew: A Rick Crane Noir,” it out from Stay Thirsty Press and available on Amazon. It’s the second book in the widely acclaimed series featuring the shady private eye from Upstate New York, which one reviewer called a cross between Phillip Marlowe and Jim Rockford.

Here’s a sneak peek at the opening chapter:

Saturday, April 27

1:30 a.m.

Working a guy over – especially if you’re a cop – is pretty much a lost art.

You wanna deliver shots that hurt, but don’t leave too many marks. Well-placed punches that get your point across. So far, Lt. Sean Swift of the Ontario County Homicide Squad was doing just fine.

“Come on, Rick,” said Sergeant Mike Crocker. “My partner’s having too much fun with this.”

I tried to catch my breath and forget the pain racking my body. But not far away was Lt. Swift, pacing the 10-by-12 cinderblock room with the two-way mirror, intercom on the wall near the door, and video camera tucked up in the corner. His deliberate steps and sideways glance made it clear to me that he wasn’t done.

Not by a long shot.

“You’ve been around long enough to know how this works, Rick,” Crocker said across the gray-metal interrogation table that separated us. “Tell us what we want to know and we can all go home.”

“Except for you, scumbag,” Swift said with a sneer “You’re gonna go to Attica and be some gorilla’s girlfriend for the rest of your short, miserable life.”

I looked down at the olive-green metal trashcan in the far corner and laughed out of the corner of my mouth. Before I could look up again, Lt. Swift had crossed the six feet separating us and delivered a hard right across my jaw. For a few seconds, I thought I might pass out.

“That one’s gonna leave a mark, Swifty,” I said after shaking off the punch. “Too bad. Up until now, your technique’s been pretty good.”

I didn’t know if his friends called him “Swifty,” but what else would you call a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, freckled Irish cop named Sean Swift?

“I told you guys,” I said, giving Swifty a look back that told him he hadn’t broken me.  “You got this all wrong.”

It was a line they’d heard a thousand times. But they weren’t buying it. Not tonight.

Besides, I wasn’t some run-of-the-mill perp they’d picked up from a bar fight, or a DWI they’d nabbed driving home from the local Kiwanis Club. I was the lead suspect in the biggest case these two would ever see.

The murder of a priest.

And not just any priest.

The bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, one of the biggest Catholic communities in Upstate New York.

And right now, the best suspect they had was me.

Rick Crane.

Local private investigator with shady connections to Jimmy Ricchiati, one of Upstate New York’s biggest mob bosses.

Whether I did it or not, they were gonna make this one stick.

“Yeah…” Swifty said, leaning over to remind me who was in charge. “How do we have it all wrong?”

I wasn’t going to tell them.

Not now.

Not without my lawyer.

But they did have the wrong man.

Whatever that means these days.

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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