“as wild as a night in a cage with an amorous monkey. So smart and tense and relentless….the real star here is his control of style, both hardboiled and poetic at the same time. Impressed.”—Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Hap and Leonard novels
Thomas Pluck is the author of the Anthony-nominated crime thriller Bad Boy Boogie, the action-adventure novel Blade of Dishonor, and over fifty published short stories, the best of which are collected in Life During Wartime. He also edited two charity anthologies to benefit PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children.
The Boy from County Hell
Sequel to the Anthony Award nominee for Best Paperback Original, BAD BOY BOOGIE
All Jay Desmarteaux wanted was to find his family. Now he has to kill them.
“THE BOY FROM COUNTY HELL is a harrowing and at times deeply philosophical journey through the heart of rage. With deft prose and an eye towards redemption and revelation Pluck accomplishes an amazing feat. We find ourselves feeling sympathy for the boy from county Hell.”—S.A. Cosby, New York Times bestselling author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland
Jay Desmarteaux raised a whole lot of hell in New Jersey after he was released from prison after 25 years for the murder of a rapist bully at his school. Now he’s on the run in his home state of Louisiana, where he traces his roots to an evil family tree that’s grown large and lush, watered with the blood of the innocent. Jay’s hunt for his parents will take him to the doors of stately plantation homes built by the enslaved, through the deadly and gorgeous heart of the bayou, to his greatest nightmare—a cell in the infamous state prison, where his only escape is the wildest show in the South—the Angola Prison Rodeo.
Scarred and shell-shocked, Jay faces his deadliest adversaries yet: the demons within himself and the brutality wrought by his privileged ancestors. The Boy from County Hell is coming home…
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Praise for Bad Boy Boogie, first in the Jay Desmarteaux series:
“Thomas Pluck has with this novel launched himself into the rare category of … must-read novels … must re-read … must tell all and sundry about. It is that fine, that compelling. Made me relive all that a wonder novel yields. Just tremendous.”
— Ken Bruen, author of the Shamus and Macavity Award-winning Jack Taylor mysteries
“Thomas Pluck’s BAD BOY BOOGIE is a vivid dose of New Jersey noir with heart, soul and muscle.” — Wallace Stroby, author of the Crissa Stone series
“My first Thomas Pluck novel won’t be my last. Bad Boy Boogie is a superb, taut, little thriller that hits all the right notes and sustains its central conceits to the very last page.” – Adrian McKinty, author of the Sean Duffy crime novels
“Thomas Pluck is a crime writer to watch. Steeped in the genre’s grand tradition but with heart and bravado all his own, his writing is lean, smart and irresistibly compelling.” –Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me and Queenpin
“Bad Boy Boogie is a punch to the heart. Picture James Lee Burke slammed into old-school Dennis Lehane and filtered through Bruce Springsteen, yet having a voice all its own.” —Scott Montgomery, MysteryPeople
When Jay Desmarteaux steps out of from prison after serving twenty-five years for murdering a vicious school bully, he tries to follow his convict mentor’s advice: the best revenge is living well. But questions gnaw at his gut: Where have his folks disappeared to? Why do old friends want him gone? And who wants him dead?
Teaming with his high school sweetheart turned legal Valkyrie, a hulking body shop bodybuilder, and a razor-wielding gentleman’s club house mother, Jay will unravel a tangle of deception all the way back to the bayous where he was born. With an iron-fisted police chief on his tail and a ruthless mob captain at his throat, he’ll need his wits, his fists, and his father’s trusty Vietnam war hatchet to hack his way through a toxic jungle of New Jersey corruption that makes the gator-filled swamps of home feel like the shallow end of the kiddie pool.
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“gut punches and belly laughs”—Johnny Shaw
“Mohawk skywalkers, elite Wall Street brokers, veterinary workers, MMA fighters, cruel middle schoolers, and single mothers from Harlem, among many other types and anti-types. Amazingly, the dialogue, settings, and situations all ring true. ” —Out of the Gutter Online reviews Life During Wartime
A blackjack 21 of stories of people caught up in crime, facing bleak horrors, or spun in the whirlpool of human absurdity, this collects the best stories of Thomas Pluck.
Take a ride on the neuter scooter in “The Big Snip”, selected as one of the best crime & mystery stories of 2016. Follow a mountain man who’s not what he seems into a snowbound frontier town where evil has sunk its claws. Dine at the most exclusive restaurant in New York, where “Eat the Rich” takes on a whole new meaning. Meet Denny the Dent, a hulking 350 pounds of muscle who wouldn’t harm a fly…but who’ll gladly crush a bully’s skull. And read the Jay Desmarteaux yarn that takes off where Bad Boy Boogie ends.
Here are stories that Wayne D. Dundee calls “hard-hitting bombs” and Johnny Shaw says are full of “gut punches and belly laughs” … be ready to get Plucked.
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“The Raiders of the Lost Ark of pulp paperbacks”—MysteryPeople
A centuries-old battle between ninja and samurai over a stolen sword… enter ‘Rage Cage’ Reeves!Taught to fight by his war hero grandfather, Reeves comes home to find Grandpa Butch embroiled in a centuries-old battle over a treasured Japanese sword. Together they team up with Tara the hot-rodding ambulance driver and a secretive member of a samurai warrior brotherhood to take on a powerful clan of ninja and yakuza bent on sparking a third world war.
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