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Tatterdemalion: The Veracious Account of How Buffalo Bill's Posse
Hunted Jack the Ripper by Robert Crawford
Scott Carson has spent much of his first 21 years in his parents’ basement in midtown Manhattan. Then the young engineer takes a call from Buffalo Bill himself and from that moment, Scott’s life is never the same. Colonel Cody has an offer for his official cinematographer:
Go to London to hunt down the Whitechapel Murderer soon to be christened Jack the Ripper. But the grand adventure proves to be anything but as Jack is cleverer than Bill, Carson, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull or Arthur Conan-Doyle expect. The stakes get mortal and personal as the ad hoc team, there at the invitation of Queen Victoria, discover Jack has Special Branch on his side.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Psychological Thrillers
Gods of Our Fathers by Robert Crawford
Boston, May 1854. The cobblestones spattered long ago with the blood of liberty-loving patriots are about to be bathed with more blood. Escaped slave Anthony Burns is arrested and charged with violating the Fugitive Slave Act. The streets of the capital city soon swell with riots, protests and arson as barnburners led by John Brown clash with the conciliatory hunkers, the Nativist Know Nothings and thousands of federal troops sent into the city by President Pierce.
Charged with quelling the violence while investigating a series of murders is Cornelius “Vesey” Van Zant, a secretly biracial policeman in the still-disunified Boston Police Department. A former slave, Van Zant is torn between his hatred of slavery and his sworn duty as a Boston policeman, duties that may include arresting John Brown even as the latter incites insurrection in Van Zant’s adopted city.
The young policeman is eventually joined by night constable and sign maker Howard Katz; Nathaniel Revere, the brutal and uncompromising great, great grandson of the patriot; pickpocket and former London Bobbie Brendan “Six Finger” O‘Riordan and their new coroner, the quirky, brilliant and “ethically pliable” Doctor Henry Bulfinch. The murders of two men at first seem unrelated to the carnage until the team discovers the victims’ identities and likely reason for being in Boston.
As the murders get closer to Van Zant’s and his mother’s home, he slowly realizes the upcoming Burns trial and the series of murders are linked to his own slave past on discovering his true father and the sudden appearance of his long-lost half-brother, Jonathan. To complicate matters, the federal troops invading the city also receive the unwelcome help of an old but venerable guild called “The Brotherhood”, a group of southern policemen solely dedicated to enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act including killing anyone getting in their way.
The Brotherhood and their mortal enemy John Brown hatch plans at cross purposes albeit with a shared outcome: The tearing apart of one of America’s greatest cities as the once dormant abolitionists are inflamed with a renewed purpose. And trapped in the middle is a small, beleaguered police department contending with a city gone mad, ceding authority of that city to federal rule in the very first hours of their unification.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Bridge of Tarnished Angels:
Two Tales, Two Heroes, Two Different Centuries, One City
by Robert Crawford
Two Tales, Two Heroes, Two Different Centuries, One City.
In "A Ghost For Christmas", we meet Scott Carson, the hero of Tatterdemalion just before the events of that epic. A routine photo portrait in the Battery by Carson's mentor Jacob Riis uncovers a shock almost as chilling as its leading to them being chased by a serial killer. And involved in the case are legends Joseph Pulitzer, Nellie Bly and Etta Angell Wheeler.
In "A Thug's Epiphany", Joe Roman, ex-Soviet-NYPD cop, is introduced. It's Christmas eve in Brighton Beach and Roman has a mission- give his puppy Gawky away to a good home. But a call from a Russian mobster to whom he's long owed a favor succeeds his mission for one far deadlier. His daughter is missing and Roman must go through another mob family to get her back. But as Christmas Eve wears on, Roman and his canine sidekick realize in Brighton Beach nothing is as it seems.
And looming almost like a character in itself is the majestic Brooklyn Bridge that unites these two heroes even though they are separated by 129 years in time.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Short Stories, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
The Kid by Robert Crawford
15 years before the fateful events of 1888, six-year-old West Side boy Scott Carson has his first adventure in the Lower East Side slums of New York City. He and his older friend Will embark on an adventure involving real-life historical characters Thomas Byrnes, Jacob Riis and Etta Agnell Wheeler.
In this fast-moving rare short story by Robert Crawford, the reader accrues valuable context before reading Carson's bigger adventure with Jack the Ripper in Tatterdemalion. And the budding genius owes much of his character not just from his future mentor Riis but from his friend Will, who's destined to become one of the most notorious Americans of all time.
Genre: Short Reads (One hour 33-43 pages), Literature & Fiction, Coming of Age
The Misanthrope's Manual by Robert Crawford
Several hundred of the world's most vicious definitions, the most vitriolic in the 102 years since the last edition of THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY published by Ambrose Bierce, updated for a more modern 21st century readership.
Doom, n- The infinitely patient beneficiary of all human endeavor.
Success, n- Material gain without material witnesses.
Harmless, adj- Dead.
What you're about to hold in your hands are 120 of the most hilariously misanthropic pages written in over a century. Don't say you weren't forewarned.
Genre: Humor & Entertainment, Love, Sex & Marriage
The Toy Cop by Robert Crawford
Four years ago, ten canisters of VX nerve agent were stolen from an Army truck near the Dugway Proving Grounds, leading up to the most disastrous hostage scenario in FBI history. Special Agent Michael Brodie, head of the elite FBI crisis negotiating corps, had lost his chance to get IRA terrorist Seamus Hannigan, the man responsible for his daughter’s death and the destruction of his credibility when Hannigan blew up himself and three other people.
Up the eastern seaboard four years later during a freak nor’easter, former Navy Seal Jack Gallagher and three other men have taken a United States Senator and 12 other people hostage and have holed them up in a Massachusetts armory. The 13 make up the entire team assembled to witness the federal execution of Edd Corn, the most notorious child killer in US history. Corn nearly killed Jack Gallagher’s daughter Deirdre three years ago. Now determined to mete out justice personally, Gallagher seems determined to end his life to that end while his ex wife, rookie patrol officer and ad hoc negotiator Penny Gallagher, watches outside helplessly.
Seeing Penny is out of her depth, and remembering his slain FBI daughter Leighann, Michael Brodie pulls every string and calls in every favor to get involved in the negotiations while somehow avoiding the emotional mine fields put up by his skeptical superiors, Jack Gallagher and Special Agent Ray Cardoza, the first FBI agent onscene and his one-time future son in law, one of many who holds Brodie accountable for Leighann’s death.
Then, during the negotiations, Brodie hears a voice from the grave: Seamus Hannigan. Could the hostage scenario be a mere coverup and is Jack Gallagher somehow involved with the IRA plot four years ago to appropriate and use ten canisters of VX on countless innocents? Or has Jack unwittingly invited one of the world’s most lethal terrorists in his midst?
With a wide cast of characters, most of whom pursuing personal agendas, The Toy Cop involves national tragedies from Waco, Ruby Ridge and the 1998 Omagh bombing. And these previously unrelated tragedies set off a chain of chaotic events, gradually but inexorably coalescing into what could become the greatest tragedy in American history. The lives of 13 people are at stake, including that of a United States senator during a reelection bid. And unless the Gallaghers, Brodie and Cardoza can put aside ancient antagonisms and broker a peaceful outcome, many more lives will be lost in what could become the greatest holocaust since September 11th.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
American Zen by Robert Crawford
What is redemption worth and what are you willing to risk for it?
Five friends, three decades, one band and a set list of rock and roll songs that had defined their unique dynamic and generation, American Zen is an alternately tragic and hilarious week in the lives of four friends in search of the fifth who broke up their band.
Hunting for their ex-front man Dave, their odyssey becomes a wider and deeper search for salvation and meaning. During their road trip throughout the eastern seaboard, their amities are put to the test while realizing how much they can and can’t afford to risk. What unfolds is a story of undying friendship driving home the point that even salvation and redemption can come at a high price. Rob the conflicted Zen master, Billy the suicidal ex-SEAL, the ailing Jo Jo, his husband Jeremy and Mike Flannigan our narrator learn how cruel the last three decades have been to them. As they reluctantly seek the truth behind their breakup, the reunion garners for them more infamy and notoriety than they’d ever had as a group. Yet on their road to redemption, they give the best and most soul-defining performances of their lives even in the midst of scandal, gang violence and sudden death.
American Zen offers a snapshot of a nation in painful transition. As Barack Obama is about to take the reins as President, Mike is virtually the only political journalist currently not writing about the incoming administration. As America looks forward to change, Mike struggles with that in his and his friends’ lives, realizing that, while the game too changes, the rules remain the same.
This is American life and death. This is American rock and roll. This… is American Zen.
Genre: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks, Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction
Message from Author: I began writing with wooden blocks. I haven't stopped since.
There are two types of writers. Those who like to write and those who need to. I'm in the latter category.
I started out as a published poet, then got bitten with the novel-writing bug in 1994.
My first novel got me a literary agent in 1996. Since then, I've independently published four novels, a short story, a short story collection and a work of satire.
In the future, I also plan on publishing sequels to TATTERDEMALION, GODS OF OUR FATHERS, AMERICAN ZEN, THE TOY COP as well as launching a new series featuring ex-Soviet/NYPD cop Joe Roman.
I live in central Massachusetts and can be reached at the links below.
Amazon Author’s Page