Mysterious Book Report No. 300 – American Static

Mysterious Book Report American StaticAmerican Static by Tom Pitts

Down & Out Books, PB $17.95, 307 pages, ISBN 978-1-943402-84-7

The Mysterious Book Report has reached another milestone with this, our 300th review. It’s taken a little more than six years and a couple of hundred thousand words to get to this point, so we wanted to mark the occasion with something special . . . something out of the ordinary . . . something so memorable that every reader will recall the plot whenever they look at the cover. We found just what we were looking for in a novel one reviewer referred to as A hot dose of pure adrenaline that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more. It is beyond a doubt one of the finest noir yarns we’ve read in years . . .

American Static, by Tom Pitts opens at warp speed and never slows down. It begins in a small northern California town where a young man named Steven is attacked, beaten senseless, robbed of his backpack which contains everything he owns or holds dear—including a brick of high-grade marijuana he obtained on credit and planned on selling when he got to San Francisco. He regains consciousness in a dazed state, barely able to keep it together once he realizes he has no money, no cell phone and most importantly, no ID. It was all in his backpack. Groggy and trying to refocus, Steven is befriended by a man named Quinn, who offers the young man a cigarette, some life advice . . . and a ride to San Francisco. What Steven doesn’t realize however, is that once he gets into the car his life will be changed forever, because his apparent savior is really a devil in disguise. Quinn, just released from prison, is on a homicidal rampage and a personal mission of retribution, revenge and payback. It’s a dead-end journey that will take a naive young man on an electrifying journey through the steamy underbelly of one of the world’s greatest cities. The cast of characters includes cutthroat gangsters, corrupt cops, criminal politicians and death-peddling drug lords, all of whom are trying to find and kidnap a young woman named Teresa, who somehow holds the key to a secret that will expose a decades-old scandal which will tear City Hall apart. As Steven rides along, Quinn dispenses his savage brand of street justice while a sadistic, coked-up, crooked cop chases him and a pair of outclassed, outgunned and mismatched small town lawmen chase them all. The action in this novel is unceasing, the trail blood-soaked and the denouement breath-taking. The MBR’s final take: If there was a list of the world’s best hard-boiled and noir crime fiction . . . American Static by Tom Pitts would be in the top ten of all time. Oh, yeah. It’s that good!

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John Dwaine McKenna

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