Retired steel mill worker Frank Trask is a short-timer with a tall problem: he hasn't long to live and needs to figure out how best to use more than $400,000 he's saved over the years.
An injury to a neighbor helps Frank make up his mind what to do with the cash. The only question is: can he live long enough to do it -- and avoid getting caught?
Sgt. Alan Baldocchi survived the IED that killed his comrades on a Bradley APC in Afghanistan, but the fiery blast left him so hideously scarred that people he meets are repelled. Against her better judgment, Susan, a nurse who lives in his apartment building, takes a liking to him.
Baldocchi's sour attitude and chronic alcoholism have given him a death wish but the nurse offers tenderness and friendship. Unfortunately Alan and Susan live in a building infested by gang members, and the leader of the gang-bangers has violent plans for both of them.
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"Really, you must acquaint yourself with this novella duo by William Wallace. He's next in line for "Best of the Year" lists."
-- Elaine Ash ("Anonymous-9"), author of Hard Bite and Bite Harder
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"With a lifetime spent reporting from the seedy streets of San Francisco, William E. Wallace brings the kind of grit, grime, and grace to his urban tales that simply cannot be faked. And like Raymond Chandler, Wallace has a penchant for that turn of phrase that burns and blazes long into the night."
-- Joe Clifford, author of Junkie Love and Lamentation
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"Both novellas are compelling and sad, well-written, with great characters that are really well-drawn."
-- Jen Conley, editor of Shotgun Honey
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"Back-to-back bedrock as Wallace delivers something reassuring, reaffirming. With old school style and charm he's able to carve likable losers into unlikely heroes. . . A two-punch wallop of perfect pulp."
-- Tom Pitts, author of Hustle, Knuckleball and Piggyback