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.

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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