by Jack Remick


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Ex-mercenary Hank Mitchell is doing five years hard time for stealing a tubful of women's underwear. In prison Mitch falls like a bear for his young cellmate. In the prison library Mitch discovers the novels of Genet and the Marquis de Sade and is inspired to write his own story-a saga of family deception, sexual obsession, and contract killing-to atone for all the blood he's spilled. But now his family wants him out and back in the killing game, a game where the rules are about to change ...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603818049
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/15/2011
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jack Remick is a poet, short story writer, teacher, and the author of eight novels: Blood, The Deification, Valley Boy, Book of Changes, Trio of Lost Souls, Lemon Custard, Pacific Coast Highway, and Gabriela and The Widow, and a book of poetry, Satori. You can find Jack online at Jack's novel, Gabriela and The Widow, is a finalist for the Montaigne Medal and the 2013 ForeWord Book of the Year Award. For more information, go to

Read an Excerpt

I walk into the library. No one wants to go there so permission isn't questioned. I leave Artie, the guard, at the door, a shit-eating grin on his face as he closes me in. He says,

What's with the books, Mitchell? You a brainiac?

No, I say. I'm looking for toilet paper.

You're in the right place, asshole.

He keys the door. In the quiet, I smell the odor of musty paper, taste the dust in the air, see the thin veneer of dust on the table, on the lone chair, see the fine coating of dust on the floor--no foot prints, no tracks, as if this place once built, was abandoned, left to decay.

I flip on a light. The dull angry neon tubes buzz, suggesting bees in a flowering field, but there are no bees, no flowers, just the angry buzzing of the neons. A yellow glaze reflects from the table dust and in the air, I see the rain of motes settling. I take a deep breath, walk into the stacks.

The books are out of order--hardbacks stacked on top of paperbacks. The chaos of an earthquake unreclaimed but left as they fell--and the books are dusty, flung at angles to one another. I want to straighten them out, put them in order, and so I stack a few, feel the grit of years of dust like a fine facial powder between my fingers.

I read the titles--English Roses in the Traditional Garden. The Lilacs of Two Continents. French Dahlias. The Quest for the Blue Rose. Fifty books on flowers.

I line them up by size the way books are stored in the old university libraries in England and France.

In a few minutes, I've arranged the books on flowers and then I chart a course deeper into the stacks where books have not been touched for decades, their embossed letterings still pristine and pure, their bindings still unbroken, and I see that I have landed in a history section. But once again there is no order--Medieval History and the Hidden Statues of Amiens Cathedral followed by Ancient Greek Stage Machinery followed by The History of Cornwall in the 19th Century--again, chaos.

But I'm not interested in what's on the surface. I have seen libraries. I know the secrets of books and that the secrets aren't always in the books because men hide their secrets and fetishes not high up, but in plain sight behind the known, behind the obvious, that's where the sins and perversions lurk. I pull books off the shelves. Three and four at a time. Looking for the jewels, the crimes left by the men who came before me and there, right at eye level, half hidden behind a book on the Lives of the Muslim Saints of the 10th Century, I spy a small volume--a paperback--and I recover it.

L'Étranger, Albert Camus.

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