Tuesday, May 26, 2015



Disintegration: a Windy City Dark Mystery, by Richard Thomas , is out today. I know I say this a lot, but if you simply go to the free sample on Amazon you will know that this book is something special, that Richard Thomas is a master at the craft. Do you love dark, twisted tales? This one is for you. The reviewers agree with me. I love writing in first person, present tense, and, of course, I love reading other authors who do it well. This tale shows how this style of writing allows you to get into the mind of the person telling the tale. Psychological horror is best displayed in this manner, I believe.

Richard's story lays bare the soul of the protagonist, one who is complex. The more you read, the farther you will want to delve into his mind.

Are you ready for a thrilling adventure into dark mystery? This is the novel for you!

Blaze McRob

Book Description

May 26, 2015
“A dark existential thriller of unexpected twists, featuring a drowning man determined to pull the rest of the world under with him, Disintegration is a stunning and vital piece of work.”—Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

In a brilliantly stylish breakthrough thriller for fans of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho and Will Christopher Baer’s Kiss Me, Judas, here is the compelling tale of a man who has lost it all—and is now navigating a crooked, harrowing path to redemption.

Once a suburban husband and father, now the man has lost all sense of time. He retains only a few keepsakes of his former life: a handmade dining room table, an armoire and dresser from the bedroom, and a tape of the last message his wife ever left on their answering machine. These are memories of a man who no longer exists. Booze and an affair with a beautiful woman provide little relief, with the only meaning left in his life comes from his assignments. An envelope slipped under the door of his apartment with the name and address of an unpunished evildoer. The unspoken directive to kill. And every time he does, he marks the occasion with a memento: a tattoo. He has a lot of tattoos.

But into this unchanging existence seep unsettling questions. How much of what he feels and sees can he trust? How much is a lie designed to control him? He will risk his own life—and the lives of everyone around him—to find out.

Advance praise for Disintegration
“Sweet hot hell, Richard Thomas writes like a man possessed, a man on fire, a guy with a gun to his head. And you’ll read Disintegration like there’s a gun to yours, too. It’s a twisted masterpiece.”—Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds and Double Dead

“This novel is so hard-hitting it should come with its own ice pack. Richard Thomas is the wild child of Raymond Chandler and Chuck Palahniuk, a neo-noirist who brings to life a gritty, shadow-soaked, bullet-pocked Chicago as the stage for this compulsively readable crime drama.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding

“Richard Thomas builds his universe and its population with terse prose and dynamic, often horrifyingly visceral imagery that unspools with grand weirdness and intensity. Then he rips that universe apart, brick by bloody brick. Disintegration is provocative. It’s also damned fine noir.”—Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and The Croning
Disintegration is gritty neo-noir, a psycho-sexual descent into an unhinged psyche and an underworld Chicago that could very well stand in for one of the rings of Dante’s Hell. Richard Thomas’s depraved, doomed philosopher-hitman is your guide. I suggest you do as he says and follow him, if you know what’s good for you.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Little Sleep
“Gritty, obsessive, and compulsively readable.”—Brian Evenson, author of Immobility
“In sharp, icy prose that cuts like a glacial wind, Richard Thomas’s dark Chicago tale keeps us absolutely riveted to the very end.”—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bad Day at Black Rock Visits Chicago May 26, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I’m not sure whether Disintegration by Richard Thomas is brilliant or totally insane. I know Richard Thomas, and he is brilliant. So I read the whole novel again and try to make up my mind. Now the story makes sense to me. There is a method to this madness. The novel is both brilliant and insane.
First read didn’t go well for me, so used to straight narrative and give and take dialogue from the usual word merchants am I that I couldn’t make hide nor hair of the skeleton in the closet of the protagonist’s mind. First-person stream-of-consciousness William Burroughs avant garde does not compute. What is real and what isn’t? Hard to tell.
And that’s the brilliance of this novel. You get drawn in so your own mind constantly questions what is real and what isn’t until, finally, you don’t care either way. The human mind is marvelously adaptive and mimicking, and you find yourself inside the narrator’s demented psyche and tattooed skin thinking just like him. After a while, the story seems vaguely familiar, and you realize it’s probably because the style and setting remind you of a combination of Nelson Algren’s novels and Wayne Allen Sallee’s award-winning “Take the A Train.” Maybe even a touch of Hemingway’s “The Killers.” Maybe it’s mainly because Disintegration takes place in Chicago and the streets and buses and trains have Chicago names. Or maybe it’s only because Chicago writers tend toward a dark way of thinking that’s broody and moody and self-destructive.
This quote from Richard Thomas’s novel rings true for me: “They say that your experiences in life, whether real or imagined, something you’ve seen in a dream or a movie—they all stay with you, they all become part of your past, with equal weight, your emotional baggage, the fabric you stitch together to weave the stained blanket of lies you call your life.”
Fair warning: Once you’ve read Disintegration, the stained blanket of your life won’t ever be the same. You’ll be haunted with horrible nightmares, doubts, delusions. It’s an experience you can’t forget, no matter how hard you try. It’ll be tattooed to your psyche forever.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative Dark Noir from a Master Storyteller May 26, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
DISINTEGRATION is hard-hitting dark noir of the highest order. The book moves at a breathless pace both in terms of plot and style. Writing with an incisive voice and relentless prose, Thomas explores some of the darkest material I've ever read. He manages to balance the darkness touches of subtle beauty.

Filled with taut, raw-edged material—sugar, glass, and cocaine—the book is thrilling, disturbing, gut-wrenching, and always, always entertaining. Set in Chicago and featuring a nameless protagonist, we follow a desperate man forced to do desperate things—a man living in the margins, a man lost to the world and to himself.

With fluid prose, compelling action, a flair for the literary and including a handful of subtle literary references, DISINTEGRATION excels at being both smart and tough. It takes us down dingy, mist-filled streets. It offers keen observations of human nature, and explores the zoos we construct for ourselves, the labyrinths, the never-sufficient penance we inflict on ourselves and others. A story of grief and regret, of rage and violence, of the need to break free, the novel moves at frenetic pace. Broken out into 100 chapters (some no longer than a handful of lines) DISINTIGRATION simply moves, sometimes so fast it will leave your head spinning.

The plotting seems simple enough at first: the protagonist is a damaged-goods enforcer who kills because he has to, because he wants to, because it’s his only form of escape from his demons. Similar to Dexter, the protagonist takes out the filth, the top predator in the food chain. However, as the book progresses, we learn that things are more complicated than we’d imagined; that secretes lay beneath secrets, that the man we think we know doesn’t know his own story.

Thomas does an exemplary job of withholding information, delivering it in a trickle that like the protagonist’s chemical dependence, keeps you desperate for more. Thomas also finds myriad ways to make this gritty killer likable so that when the book reaches its conclusion, we feel WITH him as much as we do FOR him. That’s the real accomplishment of the book: it’s easier to horrify than it is to inspire compassion. Thomas does both.

DISINTEGRATION is a fantastic read and well worth the price of admission.

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