Saturday, August 20, 2011

Combat Boy by James Vance Elliott

You got to check out the crime novel just published at Smashwords by my doppelganger, James Vance Elliott. It’s a rip-snorting read with a heart of gold. And it costs only 99 cents! Less than the cost of a can of orange soda, except that it won’t make you fat or rot your teeth.

Combat Boy is a tale of two time periods. It starts in the winter of ‘78. Jimmy Carter's in office, stagflation reigns, and huge snowstorms are pounding the Northeast. Imagine you're a kid just out of college, but unemployed and living at home. Your best friend stops by with a couple of joints and asks if you want to paint the town red. Would you go? Sure you would. The next thing you know, you've bar-hopped your way into a Boston gangland massacre. Your best friend dies, so does everyone else - except for you. And the only way you survive is to pick up a dead man's gun. By reflex alone you take down the bad guys. You even manage to kill the crown prince of Boston crime. Then you panic. Even if the cops don't arrest you, the daddy of the thug you killed – a bad-ass named Blackie Dyer - will wipe you off the face of the planet. So you tear out of town in your best friend's car, hoping the blizzard will cover your escape.

That's what happens to Eric McKenna in Combat Boy. He becomes a fugitive, but everywhere he goes, Blackie Dyer's men chase after him. With the help of two young ladies, a hippie conman, and a bad cop with a guilty conscience, he somehow eludes his fate. By the end of '78, he's hitched a ride to San Francisco in a van full of computer genii, and starts to learn their trade...

Twenty years later, it’s the height of the dotcom boom. Eric is now a widower and the father of two sons. Although he's living under an assumed name, he’s an executive for a firm that sells crime-detection software, and they've sent him back east to run the Boston office. Back on home turf, he lets his guard down. He goes to visit his dad’s grave. Unknown to him, the Boston mob has staked out the cemetery for years. They find out he’s back in town. Blackie Dyer's old lieutenant, who ruined his career by not catching Eric in '78, just wants him dead. But Blackie’s surviving son Declan has other plans. He wants to toy with Eric - not to kill him, but to rip his soul apart, piece by piece. He befriends Eric's troubled older son, and tries to lure him into the same world of violence that derailed his dad. Will the kid take the bait? And what will Eric do if he does?

Buy the eBook at the link below and find out. What have you got to lose? Free samples available!

Combat Boy at Smashwords

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