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ISBN: 978-1-940222-58-5

Available at







282 pages
$14.97 in softcover
$4.97 in ebooks



A Case of Love and Squalor


by Steve Myers



Someone is shooting dogs.

      Private detective Joe Andrews finds himself escaping an angry husband by climbing out a window. Outside, he runs into the police who are after the dog-killer, then undergoes a vicious grilling by two corrupt cops, and is thrown into a foul cell in the city jail. But the next day he is suddenly freed. His benefactor is the rich and powerful Harold Forrest, who hires Andrews to seize some explicit pornographic videos of Forrest’s beautiful drug-addled granddaughter, Esme. When Andrews agrees, he is caught up in a rushing stream of events that involve a striking woman tormented by voices, the local gangster, and a vicious gang of kidnappers and drug-dealing pornographers who commit rape and murder without a qualm. Even as the clock ticks, and in spite of his best intentions, Andrews becomes involved with Esme. Will he be able to save Esme—and himself?
      And what evil is behind the dog killings?

 

Praise for A Case of Love and Squalor


Author Steve Myers’s novel A Case of Love and Squalor features a no-nonsense PI mudding through the scum of the criminal world to attain salvation. Taking on what he thinks is an open-and-shut case for a quick pay out, he is quickly dragged deeper into the murk of human violence and brutality.
      Private investigator Joseph Andrews, aka Joe, is quite literally the star of the show. He is a smart aleck who spews witty one-liners on unsuspecting victims and can cut down even the mightiest of opponents with his mean remarks. But then he is also extremely shrewd, intense and instinctive when it comes to his detective skills. In short, he is the pin-up boy for the quintessential ‘lovable jerk’. Apart from Joe, there are characters like Harold Forrest, Diane, Esme and the detectives who all stand out and are believable in their presentation.
      The narrative is fast-paced and rarely does it slow down and yet it manages to connect with you at a personal level. There’s plenty of action and some graphic imagery too and those who have the stomach for it will surely enjoy it.
      You’re bound to have a smile plastered on your face while reading Joe’s exploits and his witty comebacks. It would really be a shame if he doesn’t get a follow-up story or if this doesn’t turn into a long series.
      ~ Kevin Peter


In Steve Myers' A Case of Love and Squalor we have a toss salad of evil, depraved sex and violence featuring Joseph (Joe) Andrews who is reminiscent of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer as he renders vengeance of tremendous proportions.
      At times Myers' writing may be raw, but I have to admit that he is not afraid to imagine wildly or to assume that his readers will follow him down bizarre and sometimes frightening paths. The plot travels at a breakneck speed as the words race down the page, and before this ugly tale is fully told, Myers incorporates dark secrets and a number of nefarious characters including two scumbag cops, rapists, a woman who hears voices, a sex pervert preying on children and young women, Mafioso-type characters, barbarous kidnappers, pornographers, a charlatan medical doctor, and drug dealers. What will keep you up all night turning the pages of this hard-boiled fiction is that it is crafted as if it were an explosive with an exceedingly long winding fuse as you never know what is going to blow up next, particularly when you have an unpredictable protagonist. There is even touches of wit and humor thrown in, however, readers should be forewarned that if you can't stomach graphic chilling scenes, this thriller isn't for you. One comment I do have is the goals of the minor players were at times blurred and I was not sure how their actions serve the story. Minor characters cannot exist solely as a convenience but rather they need to act as if they were advancing their own agendas.
      ~ Norm Goldman

An Excerpt
I grew up in New Verona and had lived here, off and on, for around twenty years. I knew all the older cops and I really knew the two detectives. The fat balding one with the mustache, Art Wolowicz, when he was fourteen he sold “looks” at his sixteen-year-old sister Brenda for a dollar. For two dollars you could touch her; for five dollars you could get it all. Brenda wasn’t too bright and after three years in ninth grade, she got pregnant and dropped out. Art was always a mean drunk who beat his wife and two daughters until the wife got some sense and left him. Now he just beat up bad guys—you know, evil-doers.
      The other detective, Don Buchanan, was ten years younger than me. I had run into him once when I was staggering down a back alley. He was with two guys, about eighteen or nineteen years old. They decided to have some fun with a scroungy, bearded, long haired drunk. I broke Buchanan’s arm (just above the wrist) and then the nose of one other punk. The third one ran away. Don became a cop and eventually made detective. He was perfect for the job.
      For a long time no one spoke. They let me sit there weaving back and forth on the stool and nodding off to awake with a jerk of my head.
      “OK,” I said, “I give up. You guys win. The pain is too much and so on and so on.”
      “You want to confess?” Buchanan asked.
      “Sure. I confess to driving without lights in the dark and in the rain. Shoot me or let me go home to bed.”


 
  Steve Myers

Steve Myers grew up in small coal mining towns in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where his father and great-grandfather were miners. He served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war. These experiences and others acquainted him intimately with the brutality that all types of people are capable of, as well as the tenderness that surfaces in unexpected places.
      After his military service, Steve graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Kent State University. He has worked as an electrician and in data acquisition and analysis, and is retired from Procter & Gamble.
      Steve has published short fiction, poetry, and novels and says of Joseph Andrews, "I don't think I'm finished with him yet. He is the kind of guy who can't avoid getting into trouble." He writes in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 
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