Monday, April 15, 2024

VBT - Off the Books by Dana King

It's a tour and this week I'm featuring Off the Books by Dana King. You'll want to keep reading because there's a great interview included and prizes. Like? Dana King will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. How cool is that? Want more chances to win? Then comment on this post and follow the tour. You can do that here:


Dana King

Nick Forte has lost his detective agency and makes ends meet doing background checks and other paperwork. He pays for everything else through jobs he takes for cash and without any written contract. What starts out as a simple investigation into a traffic accident exposes Forte to people who have truly lost everything and have no viable hope of reclaiming their lives. That doesn’t sit well with Forte, leading him and his friend Goose Satterwhite to take action that ends more violently than anyone expected.

“The return of Chicago private detective Nick Forte, the tough protagonist of two Shamus Award nominated novels, is well worth the wait. Nick’s latest escapade Off The Books—the first in nearly six years—will surely earn additional praise for the acclaimed series.”

-J.L .Abramo, Shamus Award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Chan.

"Nick Forte reminds me of Robert B. Parker's Spenser: a PI with a finely tuned sense of justice who doesn't take anyone's s***. Any fan of hardboiled detective fiction is in for a helluva ride."

--Chris Rhatigan, former publisher of All Due Respect Books


And now for an Interview with the author:

Hi. I’m Nick Forte, Chicago private investigator and protagonist of Dana King’s new novel, Off the Books. Dana had a urologist appointment and the day got away from him, so I volunteered to step in. Between you and me, I’m more entertaining than he is, anyway.

1. Describe yourself in three words.

Incurable smart ass.

2. Cast your book. Tell us who would play the main characters in a movie and why.

Me (Nick Forte): Brad Pitt. I don’t look anything like him, but how cool would it be to have Brad Pitt play you in a movie? It had to be the highlight of Billy’s Beane’s life when Brad was cast to be him in Moneyball. More practically, I think Live Schreiber would do a hell of a job.

Goose Satterwhite: Don Cheadle is who I think of when I write for Goose.

Laurie the waitress: A twenty-year-old Zooey Deschanel.

Donald Bower: Gene Hackman, who can be just the right amount of greasy when he wants to be.

(Understand, all of these people are too old to play these characters now. I mean when they were the right ages.)

3. What’s your favorite love scene from a movie?

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton from Love and Death. After the room has been destroyed, Diane asks Woody, “Where did you learn to make love like that?”

Woody: “I practice a lot when I’m alone.”

4. What’s your wildest fantasy?

I’d like to tell you about Charlize Theron and the chocolate fountain, but after three cease and desist letters and one restraining order, I probably better not. Use your imagination.

5. If you were to lose one of your senses, which would you rather lose and why?

Probably hearing. That would take care of a lot of unwanted interruptions.

6. What is the naughtiest thing you did as a kid?

I used to think it was the time I got Cheryl Beckwell to let me touch her boobs behind the fire hall, but now that I think back on it, it was probably the two hitchhikers I killed.


Boxers or Briefs? Boxers
Top or Bottom? Depends on who else is there.
Pajamas or nude? Boxers
Hairy chests or smooth? Smooth, no implants.
Alpha or Beta? Depends on who else is there.

Now for an excerpt:

I first saw him standing under the “employees only” sign near the exit to the truck service bays. Early twenties, a little under average height, short blond hair. Caroline was unaware of him, focused as she was on a three-way text conversation with her friends Maria and Arielle.

The next time the kid caught my attention he was half as far away, standing where the food court opened into the convenience store. I only noticed him this time because I recognized him, and he was the only Love’s employee on the floor. His name was Jimmy, and he was definitely looking our direction. 

I’m an old-school father with an only child. A daughter, no less. My primary purpose in life was to make sure no one messed with her. Everything else—work, food, clothing, mortgage payments, staying out of prison—comes after. Jimmy hadn’t done anything wrong, but the Dadar had activated.

All fathers think their daughters are beautiful; I had empirical evidence. If the steady stream of boys circling the periphery of her life looking for an in wasn’t enough, I once overheard another kid in the band describe her to a friend as the “archetype of virginal beauty.” (What can I say? Magnet school.)

The next time I caught sight of Jimmy he stood three feet behind Caroline, checking her out with rapt attention. I sidled over, using my best stealth technique. He never saw me coming until I leaned in close and spoke in my most quietly menacing voice. “She’s thirteen years old.”

Jimmy evaporated faster than a snowflake in a  microwave..

I still got it.


About the Author:

Off the Books is Dana King’s sixth Nick Forte private investigator novel. Two of the earlier books (A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window) received Shamus Award nominations from the Private Eye Writers of America. Dana also writes the Penns River series of police procedurals set in a small Western Pennsylvania town, as well as one standalone novel, Wild Bill, which is not a Western. His short fiction appears in numerous anthologies and web sites. He is a frequent panelist at conferences and reads at Noirs at Bars from New York to North Carolina. 



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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

traciem said...

Can you share a moment from your personal life that inspired a scene or character in the book?