I was honored to write the forward to Dana King’s, Grind Joint. I’ve been looking very forward to this weekend, when a guy who should’ve been published years ago makes his debut in print. Dana proves perseverance isn’t just a tavern in Cape Town (look it up). The “official” launch is at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, in Oakmont PA, at 10:00 EST, Saturday, November 16. I wish to hell I could be there wearing my Rangers jersey (because we finally beat Dana’s Penguins last week, immediately canceled out by Dana’s Steelers crushing my Bills), but I’ll be up north at an MFA mini-reunion. In the meantime, check out Dana and his debut novel, Grind Joint.
Dana has worked as a musician, public school teacher, adult trainer, and information systems analyst. His short story, "Green Gables," was published in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash. Dana's first two novels, Wild Bill and Worst Enemies have received praise from authors such as Charlie Stella, Timothy Hallinan, Adrian McKinty, and Leighton Gage. The author lives in Laurel, Maryland.
Booklist Weighs In On Grind Joint
The following will appear in the November 15 edition of Booklist: King has created vividly drawn characters, a plot the late Elmore Leonard would appreciate, and dialogue that hits all the right notes. His Penns River recalls K.C. Constantine’s wonderfully rendered Rocksburg, another struggling, soulful Pennsylvania mill town. But the reclusive Constantine has retired. Let's hope Grind Joint is the first in a new series chronicling life and crime in the Alleghenies.
Grind Joint, Dana King ... crime fans will want this one ... fans of great writing will also ... Dana King’s debut is rock solid. You’ll be smart to pre-order now. Dana is one of the best around—fact.
Like it says in the newsletter, amici: "wall to wall great writing." What does that mean? "Dana King’s Grind Joint does for mob fiction what prohibition did for organized crime—it provides the juice for it to flourish in a world consumed with special effects and cartoons..."
Go to the Stark House site and pre-order this book ... you won’t regret it.
From author Jack Getze … This crime fiction reader has been in a funk since Elmore Leonard died, knowing I have only one more of my favorite author's novels left to read. And then along comes Dana King. Yahoo! If you could see me in the Charlotte airport, you might think the TSA police are on their way, and maybe they are -- I'm dancing and grinning and these southern people are staring while I celebrate the book's big finish. GRIND JOINT is everything I won't be missing in the years to come: Tight woven sentences of action and insight; clever humorous dialogue that carries the story; and a real talent for leaving out what I would have skipped. Thank you Dana King, Stark House, and Charlie Stella, who deserves much credit his for Italian cooking.
In GRIND JOINT, the lonely suburban stretches of highway outside Pittsburgh teem with crimes and criminals -- a mafia crew on the decline, an upswinging Russian gang led by Yuri the crazy man (who scared the hell out of me). Good villains are tough, but King gets it perfect. Watch Yuri in fascination, the sweat forming on your lip. I was worried from the page he appears, not only because the heroes of this novel -- the local cops and a cousin -- are the kind of people you want living next door, but because they are honest cops. Good cops SMART cops. People to root for, most notably Doc and his cousin Nick. I cannot remember a book I've read -- including anything by Elmore -- where the cops sounded more like cops, tricking suspects, stumbling with women, smart-talking the tough guys, and finally getting out of a big shootout (another Elmore favorite) with brains, brawn, and guts.