It's three thousand miles from the green fields of glory, where Henry "call me Hank" Thompson once played California baseball, to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where the tenements are old, the rents are high, and the drunks are dirty. But now Hank is here, working as a bartender and taking care of a cat named Bud who is surely going to get him killed.
There's no end to Hank Thompson's troubles. Once a star high school baseball player, he's now reduced to tending bar at a neighborhood dive on Manhattan's Lower East Side. During his long life-skid, Thompson has picked up a drinking problem, a pair of bad feet, lots of debt and little ambition. But for Thompson, hero of Huston's dark, hard-driving debut, the worst is still ahead. It begins when Thompson agrees to cat-sit for his neighbor, a dubious character named Russ. Within a few days, Thompson is ambushed by a pair of Russian thugs who beat him so badly he has to have a kidney removed. While he's recovering, he discovers a key tucked under the liner of the cat's carry box. This turns out to be a crucial bit of information, as he realizes when the Russians return, led this time by a dirty police detective, and demand to know what Russ left with Thompson besides his cat. When they're spooked by a fire alarm, Thompson escapes long enough to get his hands on the stash everyone's after: $4.5 million in cash. But of course, his troubles aren't over. Bodies pile up at a dizzying rate but the mayhem is riveting, despite a few credibility gaps. Huston shows a masterful command of first-person narration, deftly chronicling Thompson's gradual slide from victim to avenger ("I'm tellin' you, Hank, watchin' you, it's like watchin' a egg get all hard-boiled. No shit"). The story moves with the speed of the best chase novels, and Thompson possesses a self-deprecating spirit that will keep readers rooting for him even as he edges closer to the point of no return. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-10 of the 14 most recent reviews
1 . Fast, easy read. I loved it!
Posted November 02, 2009 by MusicZone , ChicagoGood story, pretty interesting characters and a great cat. Every time I put it down, I was looking forward to picking it up again.
2 . I have a new author to add to my favorites!
Posted July 06, 2009 by Lori J , PhoenixI read the second book (6 Bad Things) first by mistake and couldn't wait to go back and read the first book. I need to take a 1 book break before I read "Dangerous Man" because I am too emotionally involved; not only with Hank but with his parents as well. He didn't choose any of the things that got him involved initially, and I felt that under the circumstances he had little choice thereafter. As for the violence and the swearing - well I happen to like authenticity in my novels. These are very fast paced books, they would make a great movie(s) with the right casting and directing. I admit that I've cried over Hank and Bud more than once!
3 . A book that holds your interest
Posted May 19, 2009 by Di Andrews , Empire Bay NSW Australia 2257It is violent but no more so than TV. The storyline is exciting and thought provoking. You are never to sure where it will lead. Often it is not what you expect and that is why I say it hold your interest. It is a story of how a normal person's life can be turned upside down through no fault of their own.
4 . Violent but GREAT!!
Posted April 18, 2009 by Toni , FLLoved it!! Would make a great movie, maybe with Jason Stathom as Henry!! LOL
In the middle of "Six bad things", and again, I can't wait to see how it ends, very exciting!!
And I love the fact that I got both books for FREE!!
5 . Never read a book like this...
Posted March 22, 2009 by reader345 , ErieThis is not the type of book that I typically read. I don't like violence, don't need swearing. This book is full of both. (So be warned.) But wow! What a page turner. I can't wait to read more Huston. Well woven story. Pacing is fast, but good, gives you moments to pause along with Hank. Dry funny moments. You can see a few of the twists coming--but not all.
6 . Excellent Read!
Posted March 22, 2009 by Arielle , HoustonI got this on a free download, and loved it. Yeah ok, so the language in it is a little rough, but without it, the book wouldn't work. Would you say "Oh dear!" if people were trying to kill you? I think not! For those that like this book, this is the first in a trilogy by Mr. Huston. The second book is Six Bad Things, and the last is A Dangerous Man. I totally recommend all of them.
7 . Terrible!
Posted February 03, 2009 by Ash , ArtesiaThe foul language was overdone, and I kept wondering when it would ever end. I had to finally quit reading it after the main character was beat for what seemed to be the 100th time and there never seemed to be an end to his torture! I always finish a book....but now my "always" is gone due to the nastiness of this book!
8 . I want to see the movie!
Posted January 31, 2009 by Ellison , DurhamIf they don't make these books into a movie they are crazy! Action filled with excellent gritty realism. The three books are like an excellent roller coaster you never want to get off.
9 . Not my cup of tea
Posted January 30, 2009 by Lisa , HuntingtonI was really hooked at first and wanted to see what happened next, but I just couldn't take all the violence.
10 . strong plot
Posted January 26, 2009 by jim , honolulufast-moving, light, and enjoyable. the author writes funny and realistic dialogue. not recommended if you can't stand violence or obscenity, but especially recommended if you like new york city or baseball.
December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston
SEPTEMBER 22-28, 2000
Eight Regular Season Games Remaining
My feet hurt. The nightmare still in my head, I walk across the cold wood floor, shuffling my feet in the light grit. I'm half-drunk and I have to pee. I'm not sure which woke me, the piss or the nightmare.
My john is just a bit smaller than the average port-o-potty. I sit on the pot and rest my forehead against the opposite wall. I have a pee hard-on and if I try to take a leak standing up, I'll end up hosing the whole can. I know this from experience. Plus my feet still hurt.
It takes a while. By the time I finish I'm just about asleep again. I get up, flush, and shuffle back to bed. On the way, a last bit of piss dribbles onto my thigh. I pick up a dirty sock from the floor, wipe the urine off and toss the sock in a corner.
I crawl back under the covers and twist around a bit until I'm arranged. I start to drift back asleep and the nightmare begins to rise up again in my mind. I force myself fully awake to keep it from getting back in. I think happy thoughts. I think about a dog I used to have. I think about Yvonne. I think about baseball: long, lazy games of baseball, plastic cups of cold beer between my thighs, peanut shells crunching beneath my sneakers. Fly balls soaring over loping outfielders. The beautiful ease of the long pop fly out . . . No! Wrong! Baseball is a mistake and the nightmare is rushing back in. I think about home. Home does the trick and I start to ease back asleep. And only then as I finally fall asleep do I register the blood I saw on the sock when I wiped my leg, the blood from my piss. I sleep.