‘You Can’t Help Liking Rick Crane’

Mary's FateThat’s the latest 5-star review for “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in the Rick Crane Noir series from Stay Thirsty Press.

Wow, I wouldn’t want to be on Rick Crane’s bad side…but you can’t help liking him anyway. This book is full of dark twists and turns and leaves you eager to see what’s looming for Rick & Mary in book #4.

If you’re not familiar with the series, here’s the jacket copy:

Legendary Upstate New York private eye Rick Crane returns in MARY’S FATE, the third book in Mark Yost’s acclaimed noir thriller series. Crane, an old-school fixer, is drawn into a turf war of bikers and drugs in this non-stop story of revenge and murder. At the center of Crane’s universe is mob boss, Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., and his iron-fisted control of his territory; a control that spills over into unspeakable violence that forever changes the fate of Mary Rooney, Rick Crane’s true love. Yost’s taut, well-told story grabs the reader right from the start in true noir fashion and doesn’t let go through all the twists and turns that Rick Crane fans have come to expect.

Here’s what other reviewers are saying:

— The story is fast paced and an easy read.

— “Mary’s Fate” is all about fate and the danger that dangerous people find themselves in.

— The book was done and I just wished I had the next book in the series.

 

‘This Can Be Addictive’

Mary's FateThat’s the latest 5-star review of “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in the Rick Crane Noir Series, just out from Stay Thirsty Press.

First rate addition to a great series for fans of noir thrillers. Strong characters, fast paced plot, twists and turns. Be warned. This can be addictive.

Here’s what other reviewers had to say:

–The story is fast paced and an easy read. The plot is well organized and keeps your interest.

–I’ve read all three Rick Crane books and really think “Mary’s Fate” is the best.

–Rick Crane, that blood-spattered mob enforcer who occasionally moonlights as a private detective, still roams the back alleys of all-too-real upstate New York.

–Yost does not disappoint in this third book in the series.

–I just wished I had the next book in the series

Remembering Ed Beyea

Ed BeyeaThis is a piece I originally wrote for the St. Paul Pioneer Press back in 2006. 

I reprint it here every Sept. 11 to remember Ed Beyea, and everyone who was there on Sept. 11, 2001.

Why We’re Firefighters

By Mark Yost

Shortly after I joined the Lake Elmo (Minn.) Fire Department, Chief Greg Malmquist
asked me if I’d think about writing a piece for the local paper about my
training.

“You’re a writer,” he said. “Maybe you can help us with
recruiting.”

It’s been a year and I’ve been through Firefighter I and II and Hazardous
Materials Operations, and took the extra step of getting my EMT
certification (most volunteer fire departments require only First
Responder). After all that, I was still struggling with what to write. Then
on June 20, a letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal caught my
attention.

Ed BeyeaIt was written by Michael Burke of the Bronx. His brother, FDNY Capt. Billy
Burke of Engine Co. 21, was inside Tower 1 of the World Trade Center when it
came crashing down on Sept. 11, 2001. Why was Billy Burke there, even though
the order to evacuate had been given and most who weren’t trapped on the top
floors had already escaped? Because he refused to leave the side of Ed
Beyea, a quadriplegic trapped on the 27th floor. I grew up with Ed Beyea in
New York and know all too well how he died that morning.

Ed was paralyzed in a swimming pool accident three years after he graduated
from high school in 1978. He eventually moved into an assisted living
apartment complex on Roosevelt Island, which sits in the East River between
Manhattan and Queens. Never one to sit around and let life pass him by, Ed
became proficient enough with his oral joystick to land a data-entry job at
Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the World Trade Center.

The trip from Roosevelt Island to midtown Manhattan, then to the Financial District, was
taxing enough for regular commuters; it was doubly so for a guy in an
electric wheelchair. But one of Ed’s co-workers, Abe Zelmanowitz,
volunteered to help him get to and from work each day. It was a commitment
that he would not abandon, even under the most dire circumstances.

Shortly after the second plane hit Tower 1, workers were told to evacuate.
This was obviously a problem for Ed, who couldn’t get down the stairwell
easily. It wasn’t long before Ed had difficulty breathing.

Abe could have easily left Ed there and made it out alone, but he refused to leave Ed
behind. They were soon joined by Billy Burke, who also refused to abandon
Ed. All three were killed – together – when Tower 1 collapsed. (Their
stories can be read in the New York Times’ Portraits of Grief and at
memorial sites on the Internet.)

The inscription on the Marine Corps’ Iwo Jima Memorial reads, “Uncommon
valor was a common virtue.” I think the same can be said of Sept. 11 in general, and of Billy Burke and Abe Zelmanowitz specifically.

Reading Michael Burke’s letter and remembering the details of Ed’s tragic
death crystallized for me why I’m a firefighter. I think I speak for a lot
of firefighters when I say that I do it mostly because it’s a commitment to
something more important than myself. Yes, we all love the camaraderie and
the trucks and the thrill of the call (90 percent of which turn out to be
routine). But it goes deeper than that.

We don’t talk about it much, but we all know that one day we might be asked
to do for our neighbors what Billy Burke and Abe did for Ed. We hope that if
that time comes, we’ll have the courage to answer the call. The fact that
we’re willing to even try is what makes us respect and care for each other.

This selfless commitment is certainly what motivated Billy Burke and Abe.
Thanks to them, Ed didn’t die alone. As terrible as that scene was, I’m sure
Ed was comforted by their presence.

As firefighters, we hope we give similar hope and comfort to the victims we
treat in the communities we serve. Working in Lake Elmo and other small
town and cities across the country, we certainly don’t expect to be part of
a mass-casualty incident like Sept. 11. And even if we never do get “the
call,” we know that in our own small way we make a difference in peoples’
lives every day.

We’re often a calm voice, a reassuring pat on the hand, welcome relief in
their hour of need. And while these victims may not be at the center of the
most devastating terrorist attack in history, the world they know and love
is often crumbling around them. In many ways, it’s just as tragic and
devastating for them as it was for Ed Beyea.

I’m not sure if this is the piece that Chief Malmquist was looking for, but
I now know that this is why we’re firefighters.

“I am hooked” on Rick Crane

Mary's FateAnother 5-star review (not from my mother) for “Mary’s Fate,” the third installment in my Rick Crane Noir Series from Stay Thirsty Press.

So far, “MARY’S FATE” is the best of Mr Yoste’s, “Rick Crane Noir” series. Having read and enjoyed all three, I am hooked and looking forward to the next offering. The story is fast paced and an easy read. The plot is well organized and keeps your interest. Too bad my favorite character was killed-off in the previous book.
This series will be very interesting as it more fully develops. As an aside, I can’t help but wonder if Mr Yoste is inching his lead character, “Rick Crane” from the dark and sleazy pages of a noir into a novelette. What do you think?

I’m not sure to think, considering they spelled my name wrong. But it was 5 stars, what am I complaining about.

If you’re not familiar with the series, here’s the jacket copy:

Legendary Upstate New York private eye Rick Crane returns in MARY’S FATE, the third book in Mark Yost’s acclaimed noir thriller series. Crane, an old-school fixer, is drawn into a turf war of bikers and drugs in this non-stop story of revenge and murder. At the center of Crane’s universe is mob boss, Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., and his iron-fisted control of his territory; a control that spills over into unspeakable violence that forever changes the fate of Mary Rooney, Rick Crane’s true love. Yost’s taut, well-told story grabs the reader right from the start in true noir fashion and doesn’t let go through all the twists and turns that Rick Crane fans have come to expect.

‘Mary’s Fate’ Is the Best

Mary's FateThat’s the latest 5-star review for “Mary’s Fate,” the third installment in my Rick Crane Noir series from Stay Thirsty Press.

I’ve read all three Rick Crane books and really think “Mary’s Fate” is the best. The story line is great and the characters are well-developed. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. I can’t wait for book 4!

Never heard of Rick Crane? Here’s the jacket blurb:

Legendary Upstate New York private eye Rick Crane returns in MARY’S FATE, the third book in Mark Yost’s acclaimed noir thriller series. Crane, an old-school fixer, is drawn into a turf war of bikers and drugs in this non-stop story of revenge and murder. At the center of Crane’s universe is mob boss, Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., and his iron-fisted control of his territory; a control that spills over into unspeakable violence that forever changes the fate of Mary Rooney, Rick Crane’s true love. Yost’s taut, well-told story grabs the reader right from the start in true noir fashion and doesn’t let go through all the twists and turns that Rick Crane fans have come to expect.

Rick Crane Impersonating Bogart

Mary's FateFrom Chapter 4 of “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in my Rick Crane Noir Series, just out from Stay Thirsty Press.

I drank most of the rest of Saturday night/Sunday morning.

As I sat there – exactly where I’d been when she said she was walking out of my life forever – I couldn’t help but think that she was at her place, maybe sitting at her kitchen table, in the dark, drinking alone, like me, thinking many of the same thoughts and having many of the same regrets. Maybe she was crying.

I passed out at the kitchen table about 4 a.m. Like Bogart in “Casablanca.”

“I’m waiting for a lady,” he tells Sam. “She’s coming back. I know she’s coming back.”

I hoped she was, but I wasn’t so sure. It was the way she looked at me.

“I don’t love what you do,” she’d said. “I don’t love who you are and what you’ve become.”

Those words kept going through my head like the Templeton kept going through my lips.

Indeed.

Yost Just Gets Better and Better

Mary's FateHere’s the latest stellar review for “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in my Rick Crane Noir Series:

The series is fun, the characters engaging, and the author (Mark) just gets better and better.

Take a flyer and pick up Mary’s Fate at the Kindle store. If you like Mickey Spillane, you’ll love Mark Yost.

If you’re not familiar with Rick Crane, here’s the jacket copy:

Legendary Upstate New York private eye Rick Crane returns in MARY’S FATE, the third book in Mark Yost’s acclaimed noir thriller series. Crane, an old-school fixer, is drawn into a turf war of bikers and drugs in this non-stop story of revenge and murder. At the center of Crane’s universe is mob boss, Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., and his iron-fisted control of his territory; a control that spills over into unspeakable violence that forever changes the fate of Mary Rooney, Rick Crane’s true love. Yost’s taut, well-told story grabs the reader right from the start in true noir fashion and doesn’t let go through all the twists and turns that Rick Crane fans have come to expect.

The Other Rick Crane

When she saw me walk in, she gave me a long, cold stare, knocked back what was left in the highball glass, and poured herself another.

I could tell by the way she slurred her words and the nasty edge to her voice that she’d been hitting the Templeton pretty hard before I got there.

Mary's FateBehind all the mob hits, fist fights, dark alleys, and shady characters is an evolving love story between our favorite Upstate New York private eye and his soon-to-be-divorced high school girlfriend.

But that love story may have come to an end in “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in the series just out from Stay Thirsty Publishing.

Maybe not.

Happy Labor Day From Rick Crane

Mary's FateHere’s a bit of dialogue from “Mary’s Fate,” the third book in my Rick Crane Noir Series from Stay Thirsty Publishing, that shows what a loyal employee Rick is.

Happy Labor Day:

If you’ve ever heard anyone take a punch – I mean a really good shot to the midsection delivered by someone who knows how to hit – it’s a sound you never forget. Doubly so if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of those punches. So there was no doubt in my mind what I heard through the open window of the men’s room in the back of the bar.

Normally, I don’t get involved in other people’s business. But seeing how I work for Jimmy Sr., and this is his place, I took a little more than a passing interest in what was happening out back.

“What do you mean you don’t have the money?” I heard a strange voice say over the distant hum of truck traffic on the highway.

“I told you I’d have it for you on Monday,” another voice said as I washed and dried my hands.

That lame excuse was followed by another hard shot to the body that sent the guy crashing into the row of metal garbage cans that run along the side of the building.

“Boy,” I thought. “Whoever it is, he’s getting one hell of a beating.”

That’s when I stepped out of the men’s room and pulled my .45 ACP out of the holster on my hip. Looking back toward the bar to make sure no one else was coming up the hallway that leads to the bathrooms, I reached into the inside pocket of my sports jacket and pulled out the silencer and screwed it onto the end of the barrel with one firm twist to the right. Then I walked out the back door, and into the parking lot behind the bar.

Down on one knee up against the red brick building right under the men’s room window, trying to catch his breath, was Eddie Schorr, a low-level drug dealer who sold weed and a little crank – biker speed – in the bars around town. Towering over him were three humongous white dudes who could have been linebackers for the New York Giants. But they were Scorpions, an outlaw biker gang out of Syracuse easily recognizable by their black jeans, black t-shirts, and black leather cuts with their club logo on the back. All three of them had full beards and arms the size of tree trunks full of jailhouse tattoos. One guy had the club logo tattooed on his neck.   

I’d been careful to open the screen door slowly so that it didn’t creak. Once clear of the doorway, I let it go. The loud thwap quickly alerted everyone to my presence.

Two of the Scorpions turned toward me and went for their guns, but I had the jump on them. I fired two quick rounds into each – double taps to the chest. The muffled tunk-tunk of the silenced .45 bounced softly off the back of the building and then out into the parking lot, where it was absorbed by a dozen cars. I doubt anyone walking by out front heard a thing.

The First Review for ‘Mary’s Fate’ — 5 Stars

Mary's FateMary’s Fate,” my newest Rick Crane Noir, has been out just a few days and it already has its first 5-star review.

Downloaded “Mary’s Fate” just in time for a 2 hour flight….as was with the other books in this series, once I got started I could not put it down. The characters are well developed at this point, starting to feel like family. The conflicts throughout the book kept me engrossed throughout. by the time I landed, the book was done and I just wished I had the next book in the series for the flight back home.

This is a great review not just for the stars, but because it is the exact strategy of my publisher, Stay Thirsty Press. These books are marketed as quick reads, perfect for the airplane or the beach. And that’s exactly what this reader found.

As Hannibal Smith used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”