My third novel, Breaker (Random House Alibi) is out TODAY!

BREAKER_Out

Today is the release day for my third novel, Breaker (Random House Alibi). It’s also the second book in the Windy City Dark Mystery series, but it’s a stand-alone title, so you don’t have to read Disintegration (but I hope you will). I hope you enjoy it!

DESCRIPTION: Living alone in the dusty apartment where he grew up, Ray Nelson is a mystery to his neighbors and an unbeatable foe to the brutal men he fights in the ring for money. But a life defined by sinister secrets doesn’t stop Ray from trying to do the right thing for his dangerously high-flying sister. Or for Natalie, the young girl living next door. As a sadistic murderer’s ominous white van trolls for young victims throughout the Windy City, Ray is determined to protect Natalie from both predators and a bleak future. When she sees a bruised and beaten Ray return from late-night fights, Natalie spots a kindred spirit. Still, she cannot imagine the darkness just beneath, or what’s hidden in the rooms he calls home. Now, as the horrors of his own past creep back to life with a twisted vengeance, Ray may not even be able to save himself.

REVIEWS: “…this is a hard book to put down…” “…this guy is fantastic, with gripping figurative language…” “…the alleyways are a bit darker, the white vans more ominous, the strays more starving, and the snow a little colder…” “…a gripping story…” “…this story got under my skin and keeps nudging at me to spread the word…” “Richard Thomas shows that he is a master of neo-noir fiction and that he understands the psyche of broken and damaged people…” “…do NOT miss this one…” “…worth reading just for the sheer beauty of expression…”

BLURBS: “Richard Thomas’s Breaker is a modern noir fever dream: brutal, lyrical, evocative. But it also exhibits surprising tenderness—its shattered characters find strength in one another, and beauty in the pattern of the cracks.”—Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind “Gritty, raw, powerful, visceral—that’s all you need to know about Richard Thomas’s novel Breaker. It’s a ‘gotta read this’ book.”—Les Edgerton, author of The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping

Bound Copy of Breaker (Random House Alibi)

BoundBreaker

I’m giving away ONE signed, bound copy of Breaker, my third novel, and the second book in the Windy City Mystery Series from Random House Alibi. These printed copies are usually sent out to get blurbs, so most people, myself included, never even see them. My editor, Dana Isaacson, had a few extra, and was kind enough to send me a few copies. So if you hate reading eBooks, but enjoy my writing, here is an opportunity to get this in print.

Here is all you need to do:

Go to Breaker at Goodreads.com, and add it to your “to-read” shelf. I will pick one person at random from that list on Sunday, November 29th at midnight. So, head on over, and good luck! (USA only, sorry.)

DESCRIPTION:

Living alone in the dusty apartment where he grew up, Ray Nelson is a mystery to his neighbors and an unbeatable foe to the brutal men he fights in the ring for money. But a life defined by sinister secrets doesn’t stop Ray from trying to do the right thing for his dangerously high-flying sister. Or for Natalie, the young girl living next door. As a sadistic murderer’s ominous white van trolls for young victims throughout the Windy City, Ray is determined to protect Natalie from both predators and a bleak future.

When she sees a bruised and beaten Ray return from late-night fights, Natalie spots a kindred spirit. Still, she cannot imagine the darkness just beneath, or what’s hidden in the rooms he calls home. Now, as the horrors of his own past creep back to life with a twisted vengeance, Ray may not even be able to save himself.

PRAISE FOR DISINTEGRATION (the first book in the series):

“A dark existential thriller of unexpected twists, featuring a drowning man determined to pull the rest of the world under with him. A stunning and vital piece of work.”
—Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting and Filth

“Sweet hot hell, Richard Thomas writes like a man possessed, a man on fire, a guy with a gun to his head. And you’ll read Disintegration like there’s a gun to yours, too. A twisted masterpiece.”
—Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds and Double Dead

“This novel is so hard-hitting it should come with its own ice-pack. Richard Thomas is the wild child of Raymond Chandler and Chuck Palahniuk, a neo-noirist who brings to life a gritty, shadow-soaked, bullet-pocked Chicago as the stage for this compulsively readable crime drama.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands and Red Moon

“Thomas builds his universe and its population with terse prose and dynamic, often horrifyingly visceral imagery that unspools with grand weirdness and intensity. Then he rips that universe apart, brick by bloody brick. Disintegration is provocative. It’s also damned fine noir.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and The Croning

“A sodden, stumbling anti-hero in a noir so dark it makes much of the rest of the genre seem like Disney movies by comparison. Gritty, obsessive, and compulsively readable.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Immobility and Windeye

Disintegration is gritty neo-noir; a psycho-sexual descent into an unhinged psyche and an underworld Chicago that could very well stand in for one of the rings of Dante’s Hell. Richard Thomas’ depraved-doomed-philosopher hitman is your guide. I suggest you do as he says and follow him, if you know what’s good for you.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Little Sleep

“In sharp, icy prose that cuts like a glacial wind, Richard Thomas’ dark Chicago tale keeps us absolutely riveted to the very end.”
—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff

Cover reveal for BREAKER (Random House Alibi).

BREAKER_hires

I’m thrilled to share with you the cover for Breaker, the second book in the Windy City Dark Mystery Series (Random House Alibi). This series is not like most traditional mystery series, in that we don’t have the same protagonist. What we do have is the same city (Chicago) with the first book set in the Wicker Park / Bucktown area, the second in Logan Square, just up the road. I lived in both areas for about twelve years in all, and the backdrop, the atmosphere, the tone and mood, that’s all similar. It’s really more like what Stephen King did for small town Maine, instead of Agatha Christie or F. Paul Wilson.

So, what’s Breaker all about? Our protagonist is Raymond, or Ray to his friends. He lives alone, haunted by secrets in his past, various abuses that his parents and sister lay on him, trying to survive, while repressing these memories. He works as a fighter, underground warehouses and private events, in order to pay his rent. Next door, is a young girl, Natalie, just in high school, who see him for the innocent boy he used to be. She’s not afraid of him. But maybe she should be. The struggle throughout this book is for Ray to break the cycle of abuse, to not be the monster that he is destined to be. Can he do it? You’ll have to read it to see.

Right now we’re looking at late 2015 or early 2016 for a release date. If you liked Disintegration, which Irvine Welsh called, “A stunning and vital piece of work,” and Chuck Wendig said was “A twisted masterpiece,” then hopefully you’ll like this book too.

Thanks for the continued support, faithful readers. Can’t wait for this to come out. Thanks to my agent, Paula Munier, and my editor at RHA, Dana Isaacson, for all of their hard work on this.

Hanging with Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh

IrvingRichardChuck

CP2015Balls

CP2015

Had such a great time at the Chuck Palahniuk reading last night in Naperville. Got to hang out with Chuck and Irvine Welsh, two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, so very generous and supportive. The lit up balls really show you what a crazy night it was, Chuck giving away so many cool prizes to his fans. Admission got me the signed book and comic, but I was lucky enough to finally catch the severed arm. I edited Burnt Tongues with Chuck (and Dennis Widmyer) which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award, and Irvine Welsh was kind enough to blurb my novel, Disintegration, calling it, “A stunning and vital piece of work.” I’m working on Irvine and I sharing a stage in the near future, since he’s in Chicago now. So much fun. Grateful to both of these guys. Also got to hang out with Jason M. Fylan who has an excellent story in Burnt Tongues, and Kirk Clawes, who helps run ChuckPalahniuk.net and LitReactor.com.

Blurbs are in for DISINTEGRATION—Out May 26, 2015

All of the BLURBS are in for Disintegration. Pre-order it at Amazon and/or add it to your “to-read” shelf at Goodreads. To say that I’m blown away by these amazing authors and their generous blurbs would be an understatement. I hope you enjoy the book. I think it’s some of my best work to date. And, it’s the first book of the Windy City Dark Mystery Series at Random House Alibi. The second book, The Breaker, was turned in last December. If this goes well there could be a whole series set in Chicago.

“A dark existential thriller of unexpected twists, featuring a drowning man determined to pull the rest of the world under with him. A stunning and vital piece of work.”
—Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting and Filth

“Sweet hot hell, Richard Thomas writes like a man possessed, a man on fire, a guy with a gun to his head. And you’ll read Disintegration like there’s a gun to yours, too. A twisted masterpiece.”
—Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds and Double Dead

“This novel is so hard-hitting it should come with its own ice-pack. Richard Thomas is the wild child of Raymond Chandler and Chuck Palahniuk, a neo-noirist who brings to life a gritty, shadow-soaked, bullet-pocked Chicago as the stage for this compulsively readable crime drama.”
—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding

“Thomas builds his universe and its population with terse prose and dynamic, often horrifyingly visceral imagery that unspools with grand weirdness and intensity. Then he rips that universe apart, brick by bloody brick. Disintegration is provocative. It’s also damned fine noir.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and The Croning

“A sodden, stumbling anti-hero in a noir so dark it makes much of the rest of the genre seem like Disney movies by comparison. Gritty, obsessive, and compulsively readable.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Immobility and Windeye

Disintegration is gritty neo-noir; a psycho-sexual descent into an unhinged psyche and an underworld Chicago that could very well stand in for one of the rings of Dante’s Hell. Richard Thomas’ depraved-doomed-philosopher hitman is your guide. I suggest you do as he says and follow him, if you know what’s good for you.”
—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Little Sleep

“In sharp, icy prose that cuts like a glacial wind, Richard Thomas’ dark Chicago tale keeps us absolutely riveted to the very end.”
—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff

Curbside Splendor #3 is available for order now, out soon, with my story “Divining”!

Look, I made the cover! Looks like Chicago’s own Curbside Splendor #3 is now up for ordering. My story “Divining” is in here. It involves tarot cards and bad women. I’ve been trying to get more involved with local artists, and this is one place I wanted to publish. Thanks, Victor David Giron for the support. Out soon.

AWP Chicago 2012 – My Schedule

I know you all are just waiting for me to release my schedule for the exciting 2012 Chicago AWP. So, here you go. Tentative, of course.

Wednesday, 2/29
8:00 pm   Kick-Off Party @ The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.)
Readings by xTx, Jesus Angel Garcia, Ben Tanzer , Mary Miller, Lindsay Hunter, Sam Pink, Amber Sparks. Live music from Guided by Voices vocalist Robert Pollard.

Thursday, 3/1
8:00 pm    The Wrong Kind of Reading @ The Galway Arms (2442 N. Clark St.)
Plots with Guns. Readings by Anthony Neal Smith, Kyle Minor, Seth Harwood, etc.

Friday, 3/2
7:00 pm   Beautiful, Words @ Beauty Bar (1444 W. Chicago)
Sponsored by The Nervous Breakdown, Bookslut, Dzanc Books, Curbside Splendor et. al. Live music by Rob Roberge.

Saturday, 3/3
9 am Hilton S104. Midwest Gothic: Dark Fiction of the Heartland (Dan Chaon)
10:30 am Palmer S143. Vampire by Vampire: Genre Writing and the Creative Writing Workshop (Alissa Nutting)
12-3 Lunch and bookfair
3 pm Palmer S215. Men from Venus, Women from Mars: Writing from the Perspective of the Opposite Sex (Kyle Minor)
3 pm Hilton S195. An MFA, huh? What Are You Going to Do With That?
4:30 pm Hilton S233. The Art of the Short Story Collection. (Richard Bausch, Laura van den Berg)

6:00 pm   Ear Eater #13: The Impossible, The Extraordinary @ Beef & Brandy (127 S. State St.)
Readings by Amelia Gray, Kevin Sampsell et. al.

SEE YOU THERE!