Dave Zeltserman Pariah

ISBN 13: 9781846686436

Pariah

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“What a sick puppy of a writer Dave Zeltserman is!...a doozy of a doom-laden crime story that not only makes merry with the justice system, but also satirizes those bottom feeders in the publishing industry who would sign Osama bin Laden to a six-figure contract for his memoirs, if only they could figure out which cave to send their lawyers into...I'd say Zeltserman can't top Pariah for its sheer diabolical inventiveness, but he probably will. And given that the corrupting vision of his work is so powerful, I ought to know better than to read the next novel he writes. But I probably will anyway.”—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

“This fusion of hardboiled and bitter satire is brand new territory for noir and I suspect that it will be one of the most talked about novels of 2009.”—Ed Gorman

Pariah will keep you glued to its pages. There are no holds barred anywhere in this wonderful launch into evil. The meek beware . . . be-very-ware.”—Charlie Stella

Pariah is sure to catapult Zeltserman head and shoulders above other Boston authors. This is not only a great crime book, but a gripping read that will crossover to allow greater exposure for this rising talent.”—BOOKGASM.com

Praise for Dave Zeltserman's Small Crimes:

"[Small Crimes] deserves comparison with the best of James Ellroy."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The plot of Small Crimes is a thing of beauty"—The Washington Post

"A strong piece of work, lean and spare, but muscular where a noir novel should be."—The Boston Globe

Once part of the holy triumvirate ruling the South Boston Irish Mob, Kyle Nevin is set up with the Feds by head mobster Red Mahoney, who leads him to a court case and a stretch in the slammer. Now out of prison, Kyle wants revenge on his old boss and mentor and, just as importantly, to reclaim his former glory.

A kidnapping gone wrong leads, bizarrely, to a major book deal and a newfound celebrity status for Kyle. However, it also brings about bigger problems for both himself and anyone unlucky enough to cross his path.

With this dark riff and contemporary theme, Zeltserman shows why he is the heir of Jim Thompson and James M. Cain.

Dave Zeltserman lives in the Boston area with his wife. His previous novel Small Crimes was included in The Washington Post's best books of 2008 and was one of NPR's top five crime and mystery novels of 2008.

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About the Author:

Dave Zeltserman lives in the Boston area with his wife Judy; is a die-hard Patriots and Red Sox fan; and when he's not writing crime fiction, he spends his time working on his black belt in Kung Fu.

From The Washington Post:

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by by Maureen Corrigan What a sick puppy of a writer Dave Zeltserman is! I didn't think a suspense story could get any more dark and twisted than Zeltserman's pulp masterpiece of last year, "Small Crimes." In that nasty little immorality tale, a crooked ex-cop bent on redemption gets released from prison and finds out that nobody -- not his ex-wife, not his young daughters, not even his elderly parents -- wants him back. The kicker is that they're right. By the end of "Small Crimes," I was wrung out thanks to the ingeniousness of Zeltserman's nonstop plot twists and the stark meanness of his universe. Now comes "Pariah," a doozy of a doom-laden crime story that not only makes merry with the justice system, but also satirizes those bottom feeders in the publishing industry who would sign Osama bin Laden to a six-figure contract for his memoirs, if only they could figure out which cave to send their lawyers into. If there's any other young writer out there who does crime noir better than Zeltserman, I don't even want to know. As it is, I can barely handle reading him without altogether losing whatever faith I've got left in humanity. The antihero of this latest excursion into the underside is Kyle Nevin, a former heavyweight in the South Boston Irish mob. Eight years earlier, Kyle was set up by his former boss, Red Mahoney, to be murdered during a big bank heist; but fate smiled on Kyle, and another guy took the fatal bullet instead. Now, just released from eight years in the slammer, Kyle is out for revenge, sniffing out Mahoney the way a half-starved bloodhound would catch the scent of an underdone Big Mac. As is required in any work of crime noir worth its grit, we readers see the world through Kyle's bloodshot eyes. And here lies Zeltserman's particular brilliance: As a murderous sociopath, Kyle, like his predecessors in the Zeltserman lineup, is so boisterous in his self-justifications (for everything from breaking the little finger of a litterbug to kidnapping a sickly child to burning alive a close relative in his bed) that a reader can't help but laugh at the fervent illogic of it all. Here, for instance, Kyle describes the way he and his reluctant younger brother, Danny, steal a laptop from an unsuspecting "mark" who has just left an upscale Boston coffeehouse: "I grabbed for the laptop and as the mark realized what was going on and tried to pull back, Danny was out of the car and clocking him on the side of the head with the brick. . . . The reality of the situation, the guy was no more than a hundred and sixty pounds soaking wet, and a slap on the side of the head with an open palm would've done the trick, but I was glad to see Danny use the brick. Not that I cared whether or not some effeminate mochachino-swilling yuppie had his head bashed in, but that type of violence was what I needed to bring the old Danny back." In Kyle's perspective, the robbery serves as a terrific therapeutic exercise for Danny. And the really sick thing is that the scene is so brazenly buoyant that the reader gets carried along with the moment, too. Hooray! The Nevin Brothers are back! Bad luck for the yuppie who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, but a good break for Danny and Kyle, who commit the assault in broad daylight on a Boston street, without any witnesses around. The thing about luck, though, is that it always changes. After that aforementioned kidnapping goes haywire, Kyle dodges another jail term with the help of a principled defense attorney who can barely stand to breathe in his tainted presence. Then, he's offered a fabulous book deal to write a true-crime "fictional novel" of how the kidnapping might have gone down. (Zeltserman is obviously exacting some comic revenge on members of the publishing profession who, like their mobster counterparts, are always trolling for "the big one" and training their beady eyes on the bottom line.) Kyle is set up with a book packager who's supposed to help him bang out the novel in two months. Oprah, the bestsellers lists, European book tours and Hollywood await. Trouble is, Kyle's luck turns. He comes down with a nasty case of writer's block. That's just the very beginning of a long, loopy downward slide into the abyss. I'd say Zeltserman can't top "Pariah" for its sheer diabolical inventiveness, but he probably will. And given that the corrupting vision of his work is so powerful, I ought to know better than to read the next novel he writes. But I probably will anyway. bookworld@washpost.com
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

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