The Bad Boy Boogie Goodreads Giveaway

My generous publisher Down & Out Books is giving away three copies of Bad Boy Boogie on Goodreads! You need to be a Goodreads member to join the giveaway, but it’s free and easy, so give it a go. It is open to the United States only. You can ENTER HERE.

And if you want a 100% chance of winning, you can pre-order the book! The e-book is 60% off cover price. And if you send proof of purchase, I’ll send you a signed postcard and a PDF of the Jay Desmarteaux story that happens between this book and the next. Here are all the details.


Two stories on Great Jones Street

If you love reading short stories, there’s a great new app by Great Jones Street that has a thousand of them, all free. They’re calling themselves the NetFlix of short fiction, and their app is a lifesaver any time you’re trapped in line or on a train, and you’ve left your book at home.

My stories “Mannish Water,” a Caribbean crime caper, and “The Big Snip,” my neuter-scooter noir from Lawrence Block’s Dark City Lights that was also chosen for The Year’s Best Mystery & Crime 2016, are both available on Great Jones Street.

Get it in the app store for Apple or Android, and read away!



pre-order Bad Boy Boogie and get swag

The day has come. Bad Boy Boogie: a Jay Desmarteau crime thriller, is now available for pre-order. If you’ve read short stories with Jay in ThugLit and Blood on the Bayou, you know what to expect from this ex-con Cajun bad boy, who’s just as deadly with his wits as his fists:

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.

If you email me your paperback pre-order receipt (photo, email from Amazon or B&N, etc) and include a mailing address, I will send you a surprise on publication day: a signed bookmark, and I’ll email you the Jay Desmarteaux short story that kicks off right after Bad Boy Boogie ends. Send it to me (remove the spaces) at badboypre @ thomaspluck . com

cover-pluck-bad-boy-boogie-600x900pxGet this Bad Boy right here:
IndieBound via your local bookstore
Paperback on Amazon and for Amazon Kindle
B&N Paperback and Nook
Kobo E-Book
iTunes Bookstore

On the fence? Here’s what a few of my literary heroes have to say:

“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 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

“Tough, tight, and taut, BAD BOY BOOGIE is a standout. Thomas Pluck is a writer who knows his dark territory inside and out. A damn fine read from start to finish.” –Hilary Davidson, author of Blood Always Tells

And don’t you love the cover? Even if you don’t, you can’t miss it!


Bad Boy Boogie uncovered!


Ain’t she a beauty? Designed by James Ray Tuck Jr., a fine author in his own right. Working with Eric and Lance at Down & Out Books has been a dream. The book will be published in April. It will be available for pre-order soon, and I will share the links once they are live.

So you can’t read it yet, but here’s what people who have read it have to say:

“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

“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

“Jay Desmarteaux is a worthy addition to the list of crime fiction protagonists.  He’s Louisiana heart mixed with pure New Jersey grit.  Thomas Pluck’s prose is taut, muscular, and pulls the reader through the book’s violent bursts at a light speed clip.  Look out for this one.”
– Dave White, Shamus Award Nominated writer of the Jackson Donne 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

“Beautiful Bad-assery. Full of lyrical longing for a youth unfulfilled and the brutal truth of an adulthood gone dangerously wrong. Brilliant. Thomas Pluck may well be the bastard love child of James Lee Burke and Richard Stark.”
– Josh Stallings, author of Anthony and Lefty Award nominated Young Americans, and the Mo McGuire series

And here’s a little taste:

When Jay Desmarteaux walked out the gates of Rahway Prison, the sun hit his face like air on a fresh wound. The breeze smelled different, felt charged, electric. He had spent twenty-five years as a monk locked inside a dank Shaolin temple dedicated to violence and human predation while the men who put him there lived free from fear.

Men who needed killing.

I’ll be touring, so if you want to hear me read, grab a beer, arm wrassle, or set my beard aflame, check out my Events page.


The Art of Cracking a Safe


While the rest of us were eating hot dogs in puff pastry, popping champagne corks, or wearing goofy 2017 sunglasses, two intrepid thieves hammered their way into a diamond merchant’s digs on 36th street in Manhattan, blocks away from phalanxes of NYPD officers, and opened two safes, cleaning them out of $6 million in merchandise:

“a team of burglars broke into a jeweler’s office on West 36th Street on New Year’s Eve. The crime was widely reported for its scope — the thieves made off with $6 million in diamonds and other gems — and its brazen timing, occurring as the ball dropped six blocks away in a neighborhood teeming with police officers. Surveillance video showing two people hitting a sixth-floor door with hammers was taken immediately after midnight, the police said, when the sound of cheers would have most likely drowned out any banging.”

I love a good safe cracker story. After reading Agatha Christie Ms. Marple novels on my English teacher’s spinner rack, my introduction to crime fiction was Michael Mann’s movie THIEF, starring James Caan as a professional burglar dueling with the mob. Loosely based on criminal Jean Seybold’s (pseud. Frank Hohimer) memoir The Home Invaders, it is rough and flashy like an uncut diamond. The book is much different. Mostly they broke into rich homes and stuck a gun in people’s face. It all fell apart when a Senator’s daughter was the victim and was assaulted. So don’t buy the honor among thieves line. (Save that for Bernie Rhodenbarr, Lawrence Block’s bookstore-owning burglar.)


There’s many ways to open a safe. Nitroglycerin, drills, sledgehammers. In THIEF, James Caan’s Frank famously cuts open a bank vault with a thermal lance. Our daring safe crackers, according to this fine article by the NY Times’s crime beat reporter Michael Wilson, did not force their way into the safes. Investigators think they got the combinations from the installer (or that’s what they’re telling the press). Another theory, mine, is that they just cracked the safes. This isn’t something every Joe can do, but check out fellow Jersey boy Jeff Sitar. Here he is, cracking a bank vault in five minutes:


Jeff is the best public figure who cracks safes. He offers his skills to people who have lost their combinations, with proper documentation. But how many can do what he does, or close to it, who have chosen a different career path?

It makes one wonder, and appeals to the desire for “hidden knowledge” that drives much of my favorite crime fiction: where we get a tour into the dangerous outlaw world from the cozy confines of our safe European homes. If you like books about safecrackers, I can recommend two of my favorites: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, and Young Americans, by Josh Stallings. Two short, great reads.

Do you have a favorite novel about a safe cracker? Share it below!


Don’t Make Hiring a Private Eye One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

A must-read blog is Writing PIs, for writers and everyone. Great advice on protecting your privacy from stalkers and thieves here:

Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

We once got a call from a woman who wanted to know how her abusive ex-boyfriend had learned her new home address. We ran a quick search of her address on Google, and guess what? She’d listed it on an online resume, which meant anybody could find that home address by simply searching for her name.

Let’s go over a few resolutions you can make to protect your confidential information so you don’t need to add “Hire a Private Investigator” to that list.

Tip #1: Stop sharing your home address

It’s your home, your private residence, the center of your family life — you don’t need to share this address with anybody other than friends, family and trusted business contacts. One way to protect your home address is to provide your business address instead.

Another way to protect your home address is to purchase a private mailbox from a US post office, or from a…

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My Favorite Reads of 2016

Because this is a thing writers do, I went through my Goodreads list and found the books I enjoyed reading the most last year. Some of them were published earlier, but why should that matter? I try to read a varied list, but it’s always something I struggle with, because there are so many great books I haven’t read yet, and my library request list is currently over 350 books long.

In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block.
You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott
The Nix, by Nathan Hill
Ratlines, by Stuart Neville
Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was, by Sjón
The Cold Cold Ground, by Adrian McKinty
What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe
Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, by Joyce Carol Oates
Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt
True Grit, by Charles Portis
The Last Samurai, by Helen DeWitt
The Jealous Kind, by James Lee Burke
Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro
Stranded, by Bracken MacLeod
The Big Rewind, by Libby Cudmore
Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart
All the Bridges Burning, by Neliza Drew
The Devil’s Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea
God of the Rodeo: The Quest for Redemption in Louisiana’s Angola Prison, by Daniel Bergner
No Happy Endings, by Angel Colón
The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
Twilight, by William Gay
Last Night at the Lobster, by Stewart O’Nan
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Cannibals and Other Stories from the Pine Barrens, by Jen Conley
Midnight Falcon, by David Gemmell
On the Move: a Life, by Oliver Sacks

And I read many more, but these stood out the most.