Quinn Checks In
(A Liam Quinn Mystery)
By L.H. Thomson
Series: Liam Quinn Mysteries
Genre: Hard-boiled mystery
A synopsis of “Quinn Checks In,” by L.H Thomson:Liam Quinn is back in his hometown Philly after three years in the pen for forgery. Now the ex-boxer, ex-art student has been given a chance to make amends by working as an insurance investigator, restoring a little of his family's pride and getting another chance at Nora Garcia de Soria, the woman of his dreams.
But a gallery heist isn't what it seems, and pretty soon, Quinn is running out of people to trust. The biggest mobster in town, a sweetheart named "Vin The Shin," is calling him out; a steady string of lowlifes want his head, and the local police think he's hiding something.
Hey, when trouble comes knocking?
That's when Quinn Checks In.
Reviews for “Quinn Checks In”:
(What Others are Saying about this book)
Four Stars from #1 ranked, #1 followed Goodreads.com Reviewer Jennifer Hall, AKA Traveller:“Here is a PI story that doesn't deal in death, that doesn't reflect just black-and-white, and that makes you wonder where the Quinn series is going to go. I for one, certainly plan to find out, and have booked a copy of the next Quinn already. Oh, and not to mention: there's a little dash of romance as well, that keeps you wondering about how it will develop as the series continues.
“Time will tell, but for now, I'm with Quinn.”
Five Stars from R.P. Dahlke, author of the popular Lalla Bains series:“Liam dodges bullets, punches… okay, some not so much, mob-types, and all sorts of lovely women in this bright, witty and wonderfully complex first in the Liam Quinn mystery series.
Five Stars from Goodreads.com reviewer Beverly Ashauer:“Throw in some fist fights, murders, family problems and a mom who wants him home every Sunday for dinner and you have a really great book. Oh, and I forgot about the girl he has loved forever, but can't get up the nerve to tell her. Quinn's life is quite an action-packed adventure. I will certainly read more books by this author and hope he has a long series with Liam Quinn as the main character!”
Excerpts from “Quinn Checks In”:
From Chapter One:IN ART, THE ARC OF A CURVE can be a beautiful and important thing. In Art Deco, for example, the consistency of its curves gives each design a sense of cleanliness and function, of uniformity.
When I was an art forger, a perfect curve was one of my best friends.
So believe me when I say that the arc of the pool cue slicing through the air towards my head was a thing of beauty, a mighty cut that in that split second, with Boston’s classic rocker “Smoking” cranking on the jukebox in the corner, made me wonder why the giant biker swinging it had opted for a life of vice and violence, instead of baseball.
My name is Liam Quinn, and I’ve been a fighter most of my life. One of the blessings of two decades of boxing has been a sort of athletic sixth sense. Some pros call it being “in the zone”, that split second where your adrenalin peaks, your instincts take over, and everything just seems to slow…
I ducked, dropping between the two tree-trunk arms around my chest, and the pool cue continued its arc. If he’d swung with a tighter reach, instead of stepping into it so directly, he’d have come up short and gone over my head while still missing his enormous bald-and-goateed companion.
But then it wouldn’t have been perfect.
Instead, the cue smashed into his buddy’s temple with a hollow clack, like a brick dropped on hard cement.
From Chapter Two:MY FAMILY’S NEIGHBORHOOD is called Fishtown, and it’s about as glamorous as the name sounds.
The narrow old brick-and-wood buildings are attached, block on block, crammed together tight, tall and skinny, dark hues and wood shingle siding. Many of them are multi-family and still others – like my parents’ house – were just the most that young immigrant families could ever hope to afford back in the day. The streets between them are no wider than modern alleys, decades of beaten down, repaired and patched asphalt worn to a near-glassy smoothness in the occasional spot.
The neighborhood has been filled for years by the ranks of the blue-collar working man: firefighters, cops, dock workers, construction workers, garbage men, mailmen, teachers and transit drivers, all crammed in with their wives and husbands and kids and grandparents, like shoes stored in a box one size too small, then piled on top of one another in a corner cupboard.
Nearly everyone here is Irish, or Italian or Russian. But everyone displays their Star Spangled Banner in some prominent spot on their house and means it, too. Every person here, no matter how well off they’ve been, has a father or a grandfather who’s willing to smack them silly still, and sit them down and lecture them about life in the old country, and how good they’ve got it now.
In summer, when the mercury climbs high, the humidity swelters and the sidewalk feels like it might melt, the close quarters can boil over into trouble, with nowhere good for all of that pressure to go, long-time next-door neighbors coming to rapid blows in short, unsustainable explosions of passion.
But more usually, you see the best in people, a kind of hum of activity as they blow off that steam, of guys in football jerseys and long shorts swapping stories on the stoops while sharing a tall boy, and kids playing in the street, hanging around Central Pizza for a slice or a hoagie, maybe cooling off under an open hydrant; it’s a real village in the city, if you come from here.
Even though it’s gotten a little more upscale in recent years, with musicians and artists enjoying the affordability, people have thought of Fishtown as low-rent for years. But that’s fine with us. When you lived here, you at least knew who your neighbors were. My parents, Al and Maureen, raised five kids in one of the those tiny houses, with my dad walking a beat for twenty years and manning a precinct desk job for another ten after that.
About L.H. Thomson:
My blog: http://lhthomson.blogspot.ca/
My books on Amazon:
Quinn Checks In:
Quinn Checks In
5 out of 5 stars
It’s not often that I would use movies as a reference but this book reminded me of a more PG version of Boondock Saints, except that it was set in Philadelphia, PA, instead of the Boston Area. The reason to why it reminds me of this movie is because of the fact that you’ve got a tight knit community. Where a bar or pub, whichever you prefer to call it, where your treated like family. And the good guy goes out to catch the bad guy that is messing with someone in his community, differences are that, Quinn isn't a vigilante, his father wasn't harmed in anyway, and it's only one guy instead of two. I think it was the tight knit community, and the pub, and the fact Quinn goes out and kicks some major tail. This is basically set in neighborhoods that are filled with Blue collar workers, most of them being cops whether retired or active.
What surprised me most is that Quinn, who is obviously the main character was an ex-boxer, ex-con, who loves art and painting. It’s not very often that you see character such as this. Which in the whole made it more intriguing to read this book; it starts off with him finishing up one of his cases. Then goes into where he picks up a major case, and then picks up another case which is slightly minor to the bigger case, also pays out more. With Quinn being an ex-con his job resources were highly limited so his childhood best friend’s dad, had given him a chance as an Insurance Investigator that only works on commission.
So he starts working on both cases the major one being an art gallery robbery, the minor being a robbery at a stadium, with about a dozen kegs stolen. Throughout this story Quinn meets up with some interesting characters and some quite scary (like mob scary). He runs through putting puzzle pieces together about both cases, plus kicking some major ass in the meantime, and all done without guns, quite masterful if you ask me. It’s like Jason Statham without his guns, but still kicking major ass.
All in all its one hell of a book, it’s got some crime drama, some mystery, some action, and it also kind of reminds me of Scooby-Doo when Velma figures out the bad guy and goes to unmask him. And I LOVE Scooby-Doo! This is not my typical genre that I read, but I’m going to say I am quite excited about Quinn’s next book. Wonder what trouble he’ll get himself into this time, and maybe JUST maybe he’ll finally tell Nora what he feels. So we shall see.
From Author L.H. Thomson
From Author L.H. Thomson
I'd like to think the sure sign you've gotten inside a character's skin as a writer is when readers start to assume you based the character on yourself.
That's happened three times already with my novel Quinn Checks In, a self-pub that has only been out for a few months, and each time it gave me a big kick. In each case, I think the person was a little disappointed that I'm not, in fact, a rugged ex-boxer, ex-art forger with a large Irish family and a rusting '81 Firebird.
In fact, I've conclusively lost most of the fights I've been in, my one attempt at forgery-- a school pass in the mid ‘80s -- landed me three hours of detention, and the only thing I have left from that decade are awkward teenage memories and a MuchMusic "The Nation's Music Station" sweatshirt.
Certainly not a Firebird, the groovy muscle machine also once driven by the great Jim Rockford.(The Rockford Files was a detective show back in...oh, never mind. A long time ago.)
Sightless impressions are like that; we're inevitably disappointed, like that blind date you get your hopes up for, only to discover that you're going to have to spend all night concentrating really hard on the person's inner beauty. It reminds me of an episode of That 70s show, the sitcom from a few years back, in which the lead Eric is awed at meeting Jerry Thunder, his radio idol.... only to discover he's about 5'5 and a reject from a community college instructors' look-alike contest.
I felt a little the same way the first time I saw Bill Maher live and realized he's kind of a tiny guy, compared to my six-foot-two inches of gawkiness. Not that it hurts him romantically, as I understand he's quite the ladies’ man.
Me? Thank goodness my wife took pity.
A book I'm working on right now has the issue of appearance at its heart. Tentatively titled "A Dove Flew West," it's the story of youths growing up in the great city of Cordoba in the 11th century. The city was controlled by a Muslim caliphate, and modesty is central to Islamic theology. It's a significant challenge to find enough research in order to paint a complete picture of life at that time; but I like to think it might be a useful and honest book, based as it is in allegorical comparisons with some of the issues the various faiths face today. It's been just as hard to get the little details right; for example, I'm waiting for the first keen observer to point out to me that there are Orange groves behind the Great Mosque in Cordoba, when in fact they weren't planted until the 15th century; or that you can't travel downstream from Cordoba to Seville, when in fact the Guadalquivir River (from the Arabic Al-Wahdi Al-Qibir, or the Great River), once flowed freely between the two.
Things change a lot in ten centuries!