Sick Like That
by Norman Green
GENRE: Mystery (Detective)
PI Marty Stiles was shot and paralyzed and is now in rehab, trying to decide whether to fight to recover. Meanwhile, his agency is being run by two women: the street-smart and savvy Alessandra Martillo, who’s the muscle, and Sarah Waters, a naïve, single mom, new to the job but who quickly becomes the brains. Though the two women grew up only a few miles from each other in Brooklyn, it might as well have been worlds apart. Now they’re partners, and for all their differences, are committed to their joint venture. When Sarah’s deadbeat ex-husband gets into trouble, Al would rather let him suffer, but she agrees to help Sarah figure out where he is and why another man has ended up dead.
This follow-up to The Last Gig features a tough and edgy, one-of-a-kind heroine—an entirely fresh take on the hardboiled women private investigators who dominate so many crime fiction classics.
Sarah Waters climbed the subway steps out onto the street and headed for home. She lived in the basement of her mother’s house in Bensonhurst, a largely Italian neighborhood down on the southern end of Brooklyn. She always found herself dragging when she got this close, the four blocks from the train station to the house always seemed the hardest part of the trip. You’re always so happy to get out of there in the morning, she told herself, and so bummed when you have to come back. Is the basement really that bad? But it wasn’t her mother’s basement she minded, not really, it was her mother, right upstairs, and all too often, downstairs and in her face. “Frank is a good man.” Her mother never got tired of saying it. “I don’t know why you two couldn’t work things out. Your father and I had our differences . . .”
Last night Sarah had finally had enough. “Frankie is only good for one thing, Ma.” She slapped her left hand into the crook of her right arm and pumped her right fist.
“AAAAGH!” Her mother squeezed her eyes shut and crossed herself. “Don’t talk like that in my house!”
“It’s the truth, Ma.” She glanced over her shoulder, but her son, Frankie Junior, was in his room with the door closed.
She could just hear the sounds of his television. “Frankie could be fun sometimes, but you can only be doing that for about an hour a day, am I right? What am I supposed to do with him the rest of the time? When you have a family, you’re supposed to grow up, bring home a paycheck, you’re supposed to quit hanging out in the bar drinking beers and chasing the waitresses. Besides, he’s outa work two years now. I get back together with him, you’re gonna have him in your basement, too. You want that? He’s like a stray cat, you give him food, a soft bed, and a nice place to shit, you’ll never get rid of him.”
“Would that be so bad? Your father and I . . .”
“I don’t wanna hear it.” You can eat shit for forty years if that’s what you want, but not me . . . But she couldn’t tell her mother that, since his death, her father had completely reformed his character and was now a saint.
Welcome, Norman Green! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
I’m a hardhat, aristocrat, spent half my life in the inner city, come with me and I’ll show you things you’ve never seen…
Is a single title, or part of a series?
It’s a sequel to ‘The Last Gig,’ and there might be one or two more out there somewhere. I thought I was done but I keep hearing voices…
What were your inspirations for the story?
The fine Borough of Brooklyn, and the unmatchable breadth of humanity you can find there.
Please share your setting. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
NYC, Brooklyn in particular. Yeah, I’ve been. The people are always the best and most interesting part of any place.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I always loved reading, and one day I finally decided to try writing, if nothing else, just to get it out of my system.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
Larry Niven, Lawrence Block, JD MacDonald, Ross McDonald, Joseph Conrad, about a thousand more.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Mark Twain, Malcolm Gladwell, Christopher Hitchins, Carlo Rovelli, Dan John, Stephen King, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, how many chairs we got at this table?
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I wrote ‘Way Past Legal,’ which is about a birdwatcher, and I’ve been intrigued by birds ever since.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Saw a fat, naked, entirely hairless Chinese guy walking down the sidewalk on Union Street in Queens. Cop pulls over, doesn’t even get out of the cruiser. Rolls his window down, says, ‘hey, you. Get over here.’ Naked guy walks up to the cruiser. Cop says, ‘What’s your story?’ I didn’t stay for the story, I made up my own, which turned into ‘Shadow of a Thief,’ coming out this fall.
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
Get out, man, get your hands dirty, make some friends, and above all, learn how to listen.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Norman Green is the author of six crime novels, most recently Sick Like That. Born in Massachusetts, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Norman will be awarding an digital copy of Sick Like That to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.