Flash Fiction by Dana King

Dana King is a rarity for me: the kind of author I enjoy with two minds, thinking Goddamn, this guy can write, even as I’m carried away by the story he tells. GRIND JOINT was one of the best novels I read in 2014. On a personal note, I have great admiration for the way he writes cops. My father was a policeman. I grew up around them. In my opinion, no one captures the flavor of their conversations better. I’m pleased to be able to share the opening of his forthcoming novel, BAD SAMARITAN:


By Dana King

Trouble is the residue of my design.

I could have left him alone. Should have, depending on who you ask. Found myself handy to Rush Street after a long day, stopped for a beer and the beginning of the Sox game. Saw him slap the woman, locked and loaded for the second when I slid a forearm under his armpit, grabbed his wrist, and pulled until the shoulder separated.

It took time for him to collect himself. “What the hell did you do that for?”

“You know why.” Slid back onto my bar stool.

Hard to make it sound threatening with tears in his eyes, arm pinned to his torso. He did his best. “You have no idea who I am.”

It occurred to me he had no idea who I was, either. So I gave him my card.


Dana King’s new release, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, follows the Shamus-nominated A Small Sacrifice, featuring Chicago private investigator Nick Forte. He also writes a series of police procedurals set in the economically depressed Western Pennsylvania town of Penns River. Classically trained, he has worked as a free-lance musician, public school teacher, computer network engineer, software sales consultant, and systems administrator. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Corky, and daughter, Rachel.

Dana King at Amazon

–Walter Conley

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