Pariah

( 7 )

Overview

“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 ...

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Overview

“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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Editorial Reviews

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…Small Crimes…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 Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The second in what Zeltserman calls his “bad-ass out of prison” trilogy, though less compelling than its predecessor, Small Crimes, is superior to his by-the-numbers Bill Shannon series (Bad Thoughts, etc.). In the nicely gritty opening section, South Boston thug Kyle Nevin, just out of prison after an eight-year stretch, has a long list of scores to settle, headed by his old boss, Red Mahoney, who he believes betrayed him. Nevin wastes little time before busting heads and jumping into the sack with a saleswoman with an appetite for bad boys. Hoping to solve his money problems with a kidnapping, Nevin persuades his brother to join him on condition that the victim not be harmed. Things head south rapidly after the child turns out to be a hemophiliac and dies after a tooth is extracted to be sent to the parents, and a treacherous middleman snatches the $2 million ransom. A slide into broad parody at the end doesn't do the forceful beginning justice. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846686436
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,010,832
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    shocking mocking of SMALL CRIMES capers

    After spending eight years behind bars in Cedar Junction, Kyle Nevin is released from prison. The Southie is angry at several people and he vowed everyday he was incarcerated rhat he would get vengeance against his former Boston gang and the Fed who betrayed him on the bank job. His brother Danny puts perspective to Kyle's time in jail when he mentions the Sox winning a World Series and the Patriots three Super Bowls.

    He plans to take them down one at a time until he finishes his scheme with his former boss Red Mahoney. Nevin does what he does best beating people up and finding a woman Nola who enjoys sex with bad boys. Needing cash, he persuades Danny to abet him in kidnapping a child of a wealthy man. They succeed, but when they remove a tooth as evidence to send to the parents, the kid, a hemophiliac, bleeds to death while the two million dollar ransom is taken by the contact person Lorenz.

    Nothing goes right for the siblings in this shocking mocking of SMALL CRIMES capers. The story line is fast-paced but driven by Nevin who has BAD THOUGHTS about almost everyone as he plots vengeance against Red who set him up to get killed in the bank job. Although the plot is thin, fans of bad boys character driven "dick lit" criminal thrillers will enjoy PARIAH.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Edgy crime fic - my favorite kind!

    This book just sucked the air right out of me. This book's got teeth that bite and claws that catch, and it's a masterpiece. If you're looking for a hero or even an anti-hero, you won't find one here. Kyle Nevin is pure, unwavering psychopath, and the most finely drawn such creature since Charles Willeford put Junior Frenger on paper. If Jim Thompson's Lou Ford and James Cagney's Cody Jarrett (White Heat, 1949) are watching somewhere from the halls of twisted fiction, they are pouring out their warped blessings on Kyle Nevin.

    All of the characters are well-drawn, no mean feat since the story is told from Kyle's point of view. Getting past his self-absorption and lack of empathy for others to see real 3D characters should be a chore for any author, but Zeltserman uses another attribute of psychopathy to reveal and create empathy for Nevin's victims: Nevin's merciless exploitation of their personalities. Virtually everyone who comes in contact with him becomes his victim in one way or another. The way Kyle systematically takes apart his struggling brother's life is like watching a wreck on the highway: you don't want to look but you can't resist the compulsion. Kyle's own implosion is perfection on paper.

    If you revere the dark tales of Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson and James M. Cain, add Dave Zeltserman's name to your list. I promise you that in years to come, when those first three names are mentioned, so will the fourth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Awful Book

    If you're looking for a 1-dimensional, unoriginal book about a violent thug (who oddly is also a deeply strategic thinker), this is for you.

    Mr. Zeltserman has a LONG, LONG way to go before you put him in the crowd with Lee Child or Dennis Lehane.

    If you're looking for Bulger insight, read the Howie Carr book or rent the Departed. This book is a waste of time. The writing is horrendous. The author demonstrates absolutely no skill in developing characters; I'm frankly surprised this was published.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I expected more

    its not bad but I really dont care about the people in it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2010

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    Posted January 1, 2010

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