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Book Review – Three Strikes – Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara and Charles Salzberg

Three Strikes – Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara and Charles Salzberg

Genre: Crime
Published: September 10th 2018, Down & Out Books
Swathi’s Rating: 3.5/5

Verdict: A collection of three historical Fiction by 2 Authors.

Hello everyone!

Today I am so glad to present you all with this short story collection – 3 historical stories from 3 authors! If you are a fan of short stories, then this one’s for you. There is a GIVEAWAY happening right now! There is also an exclusive excerpt of the novellas. Scroll down to enter the giveaway and win this great book for yourself!


I Take Care of Myself in Dreamland

by Ross Klavan

Bartok is horribly scarred. Wounded in the Army, he roams through 1970’s New York, a city of perpetual night, punctuated by crime and populated by streetwalkers, hooker bars, strip clubs, easy drugs and a feeling of doom. There’s one thing on his mind: an experience he had when his Army truck exploded, an experience he calls Red River. More than bliss, more than spiritual. But nothing goes right. Bartok loses his girl, his money, any possibility of support and decides that he’s finished, he’s going to end it but before he does, he’s going out on the town for one last attempt to recapture the incredible experience of Red River. And when he does, he runs into others who see him as an easy mark for dirtier plans…plans that involve murder before suicide.

Bartok’s story is told by a driver for the mob, a guy who’s heard it all and usually keeps his mouth shut because when he begins a trip, it’s almost always one-way.


by Tim O’Mara

Aggie’s back. After barely escaping with his life in “Smoked,” Aggie disproves the old adage of “Once burned…” This time around he’s heading from the Midwest to New York City with a sweet shipment of stolen maple syrup. He also has picked up an unwanted-and potentially dangerous-passenger; the fifteen-year-old daughter of his latest boss has hopped on for a free ride to the Big Apple and her on-line boyfriend. When they arrive in NYC, Aggie’s worst fears are realized when the “boyfriend” turns out to be a group of human traffickers. Aggie knew that running one of the world’s most valuable liquids across state lines was skirting the line between safety and danger, but he never knew it could get this sticky.

The Maybrick Affair

by Charles Salzberg

It’s a couple weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor and a young reporter, Jake Harper, who works for a small Connecticut newspaper, is assigned a routine human interest story. A reclusive, elderly woman, has quietly passed away in her small cottage upstate. Anxious for bigger stories, Jake begins his assignment by trying to find out who this woman was and what kind of life she led. As Jake investigates the old woman’s death he finds that years earlier she was tried and convicted of murdering her husband in a well-publicized, lurid trial in London, England. And, after digging further, he, unearths evidence that she might have had a connection to an even more famous British serial killer and that the ramifications of this story might affect America’s entry into the War.

Like the Synopsis? Read an exclusive excerpt here.

Authors’ Bios:

Ross Klavan

Ross Klavan’s work spans film, television, radio, print, live performance and visual art. A novella, “Thump Gun Hitched,” was published in 2016 by Down and Out Books as part of “Triple Shot” along with Charles Salzberg and Tim O’Mara. His darkly comic novel Schmuck was published by Greenpoint Press in 2014. Klavan’s original screenplay for the film Tigerland was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the film was released by New Regency starring Colin Farrell. He recently finished an adaption of John Bowers’ The Colony and has written scripts for Miramax, Intermedia, Walden Media, Paramount, A&E and TNT-TV among others. The “conversation about writing” he moderated with Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer was televised and published as Like Shaking Hands with God, and his short stories have appeared in magazines and been produced by the BBC. An earlier novel, Trax, was published under a pseudonym. His play How I Met My (Black) Wife (Again), co-written with Ray Iannicelli, has been produced in New York City, and he has performed his work in numerous theaters and clubs. He has acted and done voice work in TV and radio commercials and has lent his voice to feature films including: CasinoYou Can Count on MeRevolutionary RoadAwake and the Amazon web series Alpha House, written by Gary Trudeau. He has worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in New York City and London. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Mary Jones.

Find Ross on Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Tim O’Mara

TIM O’MARA is best known for his Raymond Donne mysteries about an ex-cop who now teaches in the same Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood he once policed: Sacrifice Fly (2012), Crooked Numbers (2013), Dead Red (2015), Nasty Cutter(2017), published by Minotaur Books (#1–#3) and Severn House (#4). He recently signed a deal for a fifth Raymond book, The Hook, which should be published in late 2019 by Severn House. His novellas Smoked and Jammed appear in 2016 and 2018 crime trilogies from Down & Out Books. O’Mara taught special education for 30 years in the public middle schools of New York City, where he still lives and teaches adult writers. In addition to writing The Hook and the stand-alone high-school-based crime drama So Close to Me, O’Mara is currently curating a short crime story anthology to benefit the non-profit American Rivers.

Find Tim on Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Charles Salzberg

Charles Salzberg is a former magazine journalist and nonfiction book writer. He is the author of the Shamus Award nominated Swann’s Last Song, and the sequels, Swann Dives In, Swann’s Lake of Despair and Swann’s Way Out. His novel, Devil in the Hole, was named one of the best crime novels of 2013 by Suspense magazine. His latest novel is Second Story Man. He is co-author of Triple Shot, with Ross Klavan and Tim O’Mara (three crime novellas). He teaches writing in New York City and is on the board of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Catch Charles on Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter 


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ross Klavan, Tim O’Mara and Charles Salzberg. There will be 4 winners of one (1) Gift Card and three (3) eBooks. The giveaway begins on September 1, 2018 and runs through November 1, 2018.  Void where prohibited.

Click here to enter the giveaway

Swathi’s Review

I have always had a craze for condensed books, which is one reason I picked this one. The blurbs on the backcover did their part. They are all Historical fiction and sounded intriguing enough to start digging right away. I had a hard time trying now to give up reading the book, but it took some efforts to do so!

What to expect: If you like to read/write short stories, then this book could be your inspiration. These stories could be the perfect example for an aspiring author to learn from mistakes, and how do it right. The first two stories are told in a very dramatic yet not-so-memorable manner, while the third one could be the best of three!

What is missing: I still stand with my point when I said the stories had an interesting synopsis. Read along the excerpt and you would agree with me. What went missing was the structure and threading of words that lagged pace and element. Reading a Historical Fiction needs clear descriptions for the reader to picture the setting of the novel, which would make the characters more realistic and connectible. I guess, I found the missing factor in these short story collection.  

I completed reading this book in a week and I guess I could recommend it for a binge read? I’m not sure right now! This book gave me a totally new experience. I strongly suggest you all to read the excerpt and let me know your thoughts!

My thanks to the publicist for the copy. All opinions are honest and they are my own. Until next time!

Happy reading! XX

One Comment

  • Cheryl

    I read this book and enjoyed it. IMO, this is the perfect way to get to read “authors that are new to me” to experience their writing style(s). And because of this book, I will be reading more by the three authors.

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