“Huston writes dialogue so combustible it could fuel a bus and characters crazy enough to take it on the road.”—The New York Times Book Review
Reluctant hitman Henry Thompson has fallen on hard times. His grip on life is disintegrating, his pistol hand shaking, his body pinned to his living room couch by painkillers–and his boss, Russian mobster David Dolokhov, isn’t happy about any of it. So Henry is surprised when he’s handed a new assignment: keep tabs on a minor league baseball star named Miguel Arenas.
Henry has no pity for the slugger and the wicked gambling problem that got him in trouble, but he can’t help liking the guy. After all, Henry used to be just like him: a natural-born ball player with a bright future. But hell, that was long ago. Before Henry did some guy a favor and ended up running for his life. Before his girlfriend and buddies got gunned down by someone on his tail. Before he agreed to buy his parents’ safety with a life of violence.
And when Miguel gets drafted by the Mets and is sent to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Henry must head back to New York, back to the place where all his problems began—and where Henry might find a real reason to keep living, a reason that may just cost him his life.
Praise for A Dangerous Man
“Among the new voices in twenty-first-century crime fiction, Charlie Huston . . . is where it’s at.”—The Washington Post
“Huston reminds me of all my favorite writers–Pete Dexter, Robert Stone, Crumley. If there is such a thing as compassionate noir, Charlie has found it. He’s a true marvel.”—Ken Bruen, author of The Guards
Hank Thompson is living off the map in Mexico with a bagful of cash that the Russian mafia wants back and many, many secrets. So when a Russian backpacker shows up in town asking questions, Hank tries to play it cool. But he knows the jig is up when the backpacker mentions the money . . . and the family Hank left behind. Suddenly Hank’s in a desperate race to get to his parents in California before anyone can harm them. Along the way he’ll face Federales and Border Patrol, mafiosi and vigilantes, extortionists and drug dealers, and a couple of psychotic surf bums with an ax to grind. From the golden beaches of the Yucatán to the seedy strip clubs of Vegas, Charlie Huston opens a door to the squalid underworld of crime and corruption–and invites the reader to live it in the extreme.
“[A] fantastically hopped-up thriller . . . a wrong-man plot worthy of Hitchcock.”—Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)
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.
It begins when Hank’s neighbor, Russ, has to leave town in a rush and hands over Bud in a carrier. But it isn’t until two Russians in tracksuits drag Hank over the bar at the joint where he works and beat him to a pulp that he starts to get the idea: Someone wants something from him. He just doesn’t know what it is, where it is, or how to make them understand he doesn’t have it.
Within twenty-four hours Hank is running over rooftops, swinging his old aluminum bat for the sweet spot of a guy’s head, playing hide and seek with the NYPD, riding the subway with a dead man at his side, and counting a whole lot of cash on a concrete floor.
All because of two cowboys, two Russian mafia men, and some of the weirdest goons ever assembled in one place. All because of Bud. All because once, in another life, in another world, the only thing Hank wanted was to take third base—without getting caught.