Ask the Dice
By Ed Lynskey
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Over the past two decades, Tommy Mack Zane has faithfully worked as a contract killer for Watson Ogg, the Washington, D.C. crime boss. Now middle age creeping up finds Tommy Mack edgy, jaded, and weary of his grisly trade. As he contemplates retirement, he is framed for the murder of Mr. Ogg's niece. Desperate, Tommy Mack enlists the aid of his friends, the mercurial D. Noble and burly Esquire to do battle with Mr. Ogg and his mercenary "dark suits." A new, better life filled with his passions for poetry and jazz drives Tommy Mack to the slambang climax where a few dark secrets about his past are unearthed. Told in spare, lean prose, Ask the Dice is a brisk, literate, and idiosyncratic noir. Mr. Lynskey's crime novels have been praised by such luminaries as James Crumley, Ken Bruen, and Megan Abbott. Robert Wade (Wade Miller) wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "A new wave of young writers is experimenting with the old-style thriller...among the most promising is Ed Lynskey."