New York City, the late 1990s. Dennis Donnelley is a bachelor and a solitary soul in his early thirties who works in the downtown financial district but isn’t sure where he fits into the city’s new anything-goes money culture. Increasingly haunted by the sense that life is passing him by, Dennis begins hitting bars in order to relieve his anxieties, and he also starts to roam the streets at random after dark.
One night he decides to head up to Central Park, where a chance encounter leads to his becoming friendly with three misfit teenagers who also see the park as their refuge. Most prominent of the teens is Christine Pfarr, a troubled sixteen-year-old with her own fondness for alcohol. The older man begins to develop an unexpected rapport with Christine—or so he thinks. As Dennis is drawn deeper into the park’s shadowy, after-hours netherworld, a series of fraught misunderstandings unfolds, culminating in a nightmarish final scene of hallucinatory intensity.
Inspired by a real-life crime that shocked New York City, "The Night Friends" marks the uncompromising debut of a talented new writer.
About the Author
Jeff Tompkins was born in Hartford, CT and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Literature and Society. Today he is a writer and comics artist living in New York City. The author of two novels — "The Night Friends" (2012) and "Traveling Light" (2015) — he also writes for The Brooklyn Rail, among other outlets.