City of Forts II
An all-American anti-hero carrying the world on his shoulders
Ricky has killed before. And he will again. But he has a conscience. And he’s a cop. Not by choice but it seemed inevitable after he was shot by Vale, the man whose son Ricky killed.
Now Ricky is a cop with a conscience on a deadly and dangerous mission.
Harry Vale owns the town.
Ricky’s partner is what Ricky would call a bastard. Hellier is a corrupt bully and gets away with it. It seems no one has the guts to stop him. Ricky despises him.
What can he do though? He’s got his mother and brother to protect, is as bound to the town as to the man he owes his life to. Vale.
Why did Ricky enter the police force? And why does he feel it impossible to leave? Who is bent and who is straight amongst the police force? What does Ricky feel for the girl that managed to escape – and why is the police chief protecting Ricky?
As the body count rises, Ricky is in danger of his own life on a hunt for the truth.
Raw and violent, American Spartan is a captivating thriller, drawing you into a town you’d rather escape the hell out from. The title is a bit misleading as you’d think about veterans and the army whereas this is an urban noir thriller, with a young man at the heart of it, Ricky. Ricky desperately wants to protect those he loves, and to prevent his brother from mingling with criminals.
If you, as I, haven’t read the previous, first, instalment in the series, City of Forts, you are thrown right into the deep with the first scene, where Ricky Nardilo is ready to kill Mr Harry Vale with “a handgun in hand, murder on his mind.” Some say the rescuer of the town, some say he destroys it but one thing all agree upon Mr Harry Vale OWNS the City of Forts.
From then on, we’re in the mind of Ricky and feel his hatred for Vale, for his partner, Hellier, for all those who heed to Vale’s demands. He would escape the town if he could but his mother and brother live there and need protection. The town is his home as much as his prison.
This is a thriller that pulls you in and takes you on a violent, gripping, horrific journey you cannot imagine will not end in bloodshed and murders galore. The murders happen in such a way that you’re barely over one when another happens.
The contrast between Ricky trying to have some sort of a love life and the cruel reality is a big one and it’s difficult to empathise with it especially when it goes off in a Bonnie-and-Clyde sort of tangent but if you read it as a dark urban satire, I cringed and chuckled – all in all it makes for a good, fast-paced, gripping and entertaining read. Definitely not for the fainthearted!
The City of Forts series
1 City of Forts – https://amzn.to/3fUCktk
2 American Spartan – https://amzn.to/2JvlSDR
Jason Beech – Author Info
Sheffield native, New Jersey resident Jason Beech writes crime fiction. His coming-of-age crime drama City of Forts was described as “tense, atmospheric, and haunting” by UK crime writer Paul D. Brazill.
His latest novel, American Spartan, is a sequel to 2018’s City of Forts.