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Authors: Tim McLoughlin

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Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing but the Truth

BOOK: Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing but the Truth
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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Akashic Books
© 2008 Akashic Books

Series concept by Tim McLoughlin and Johnny Temple
Brooklyn map by Sohrab Habibion

ISBN-13: 978-1-933354-14-9
eISBN-13: 978-1-617750-47-2
Library of Congress Control Number: 2007939598
All rights reserved

First printing

Akashic Books
PO Box 1456
New York, NY 10009
[email protected]
www.akashicbooks.com

A
LSO IN THE
A
KASHIC
N
OIR
S
ERIES
:

Baltimore Noir
, edited by Laura Lippman

Bronx Noir
, edited by S.J. Rozan

Brooklyn Noir
, edited by Tim McLoughlin

Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics,
edited by Tim McLoughlin

Chicago Noir,
edited by Neal Pollack

D.C. Noir
, edited by George Pelecanos

Detroit Noir
, edited by E.J. Olsen & John C. Hocking

Dublin Noir
(Ireland), edited by Ken Bruen

Havana Noir
(Cuba), edited by Achy Obejas

Las Vegas Noir
, edited by Jarret Keene & Todd James Pierce

London Noir
(England), edited by Cathi Unsworth

Los Angeles Noir
, edited by Denise Hamilton

Manhattan Noir
, edited by Lawrence Block

Miami Noir,
edited by Les Standiford

New Orleans Noir
, edited by Julie Smith

Queens Noir
, edited by Robert Knightly

San Francisco Noir,
edited by Peter Maravelis

Toronto Noir
, edited by Janine Armin & Nathaniel G. Moore

Trinidad Noir,
edited by Lisa Allen-Agostini & Jeanne Mason

Twin Cities Noir
, edited by Julie Schaper & Steven Horwitz

Wall Street Noir
, edited by Peter Spiegelman

F
ORTHCOMING
:

Barcelona Noir
(Spain), edited by Adriana Lopez & Carmen Ospina

D.C. Noir 2: The Classics,
edited by George Pelecanos

Delhi Noir
(India), edited by Hirsh Sawhney

Istanbul Noir
(Turkey), edited by Mustafa Ziyalan & Amy Spangler

Lagos Noir
(Nigeria), edited by Chris Abani

Manhattan Noir 2: The Classics,
edited by Lawrence Block

Mexico City Noir
(Mexico), edited by Paco I. Taibo II

Moscow Noir
(Russia), edited by Natalia Smirnova & Julia Goumen

Paris Noir
(France), edited by Aurélien Masson

Phoenix Noir
, edited by Patrick Millikin

Portland Noir
, edited by Kevin Sampsell

Richmond Noir
, edited by Andrew Blossom,

Brian Castleberry & Tom De Haven

Rome Noir
(Italy), edited by Chiara Stangalino & Maxim Jakubowski

San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics,
edited by Peter Maravelis

Seattle Noir
, edited by Curt Colbert

T
ABLE OF
C
ONTENTS

Title Page
Copyright Page
Introduction

PART I: RING-A-LEVIO

C
ONSTANCE
C
ASEY
A Spring Afternoon in the Meadow,
That “Long, Loud Scream”
Prospect Park
C
HRISTOPHER
M
USELLA
Sweet Cherry: R.I.P.
Sunset Park
R
OBERT
L
EUCI
The Ghetto Never Sleeps, Mister
Policeman
Atlantic Yards
T
HOMAS
A
DCOCK
The Morgue Boys
Brownsville

PART II: JOHNNY-ON-THE-PONY

E
RROL
L
OUIS
Fun-Time Monsters
East Flatbush
R
OBERT
K
NIGHTLY
Getting to Know Mad Dog
Bushwick
D
ENNIS
H
AWKINS
True Confessions
Brooklyn Heights
P
ATRICIA
M
ULCAHY
The Body in the Doorway
Fort Greene

PART III: DEATH STEP

T
IM
M
CLOUGHLIN
Snapshots
Kings County
Supreme Court
R
EED
F
ARREL
C
OLEMAN
No Roses for Bubbeh
Coney Island
C.J. S
ULLIVAN
The Brooklyn Bogeyman
Bensonhurst
K
IM
S
YKES
Slaves in Brooklyn
Weeksville

PART IV: SKELSIES

J
ESS
K
ORMAN
The Creamflake Kid
Crown Heights
D
ENISE
B
UFFA
Mommy Wears a Wire
Borough Park
R
OSEMARIE
Y
U
Beef Kills
East New York
A
ILEEN
G
ALLAGHER
Sesame Street for Grown-ups
Cobble Hill
About the Contributors

INTRODUCTION

S
TRANGER THAN
F
ICTION

O
ne sweltering evening a couple of years ago I was giving a reading at Tillie’s, a café in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It was part of a summer-long blitz to help publicize the first
Brooklyn Noir
. The contributors and I did forty-two readings in New York City that summer, all but six in Brooklyn. Predictably, a lot of them are now a blur. This one, however, stands out vividly in my mind. Patricia Mulcahy, the proprietor of Tillie’s, welcomed me, and said, “I have a
Brooklyn
Noir
story to tell you.” She then related the tale that is included in this volume, about the killing of “Bobby from Russia.”

“How does it end?” I asked.

“How does it end?” she said. “It’s a true story.”

I wound up at the Alibi Club that night, just down DeKalb from Tillie’s, drinking and scheming with Akashic’s publisher, Johnny Temple. We decided that at some point it would be interesting to do an anthology of true crime stories with the same mood and geographic structure as
Brooklyn Noir
. After all, it seemed as though every bar, bookstore, or library we read at had some connection to a sinister event. People were all too eager to point out back rooms or side streets where something had been heisted or someone had been whacked. What fun it would be to record those stories. What fun indeed.

As this book began to coalesce, the vibe of the project changed, in a small but steady way. It was insidious, like swimming in a deceptively gradual current.

There is a difference, as editor, between cheering the literary accomplishment of a fiction writer who has delivered a brilliant story about a serial killer or hit man, and reading the true account, however beautifully written, of a young woman raped, murdered, and forgotten. So this book, though it has its light moments (and thank God for those), is for me the darkest of the
Brooklyn Noir
series. These pieces remind us that crime is personal. It happens to us and to our neighbors. Sometimes it happens because we do nothing to prevent it. Life does not always offer the moral arc we so desperately crave in fiction. If it did, we’d have no need for myths and fables, religion or miracles.

Thomas Adcock was the first contributor to deliver a story, and I’m grateful that he then agreed to coedit the book; he brought aboard a posse of writers of which I could have only dreamed. Because the stories are about crime, about Brooklyn, and true, more than one ends in court proceedings. And because Brooklyn is the world’s largest small town, real life overlaps in ways that fiction does not. My own reminiscence of events in and around the courts, “Snapshots,” sits at the intersection of stories by Errol Louis, Dennis Hawkins, and Denise Buffa.

As with the two previous volumes, our emphasis is on the quality of the writing as well as the storytelling itself, and just as the earlier anthologies have done their bit to muddy the waters between genre and literary fiction, here we’ve done our best to blend reporting, personal essay, and memoir.

It’s been an interesting few years since
Brooklyn Noir
debuted. That book, as of this writing, has just entered its fifth printing, with
Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics
headed for its second. There are now more than twenty volumes of original fiction in the Akashic Noir Series, with another dozen in production. That’s four hundred or so stories that might not otherwise have been published, or for that matter written. No small feat given the paltry opportunities these days for publishing short fiction. So now let’s see what we can do for true crime.

Read this book. Enjoy it. Be horrified by it. Carry it with you always. And the next time you’re watching a particularly bizarre and salacious news item on the television set in your neighborhood pub, and the guy on the next stool says, “You can’t make this shit up,” smack him with it.

Tim McLoughlin
Brooklyn, New York
April 2008

PART I

R
ING
-
A
-L
EVIO

In which members of one
group at one end of the block try to find and capture hiding
members of an opposing group. A captured player is
dragged into a chalk circle on the pavement at mid-block,
by a hunter who holds him/her there long enough to holler,
“Ring-a-Levio, 1-2-3!”

A SPRING AFTERNOON IN THE
MEADOW, THAT “LONG, LOUD
SCREAM”

BY
C
ONSTANCE
C
ASEY

BOOK: Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing but the Truth
5.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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