Synopsis: Syracuse, upstate New York. The “Salt City.” An apartment building on the edge of The Projects – and Anne Malloy dies, thrown out of a sixth floor window, an apparent suicide, while Mark Cornell watches. Mark was there for a purpose, his part time gig being to snap incriminating photos for a divorce lawyer who happily takes cases over the phone. Watching the apartment was Mark’s assignment.
But this assignment has a problem: Mark learns that “Anne Malloy” had died months before, leaving behind a grieving husband. So who is this woman?
It’s 1976, before cellphones, internet, and all the easy ways of satisfying curiosities, so Mark Cornell’s search for a name to give the victim makes him a foot soldier slogging personally through the facts. And, as those facts pile up, Mark discovers that he really shouldn’t be playing detective, stumbling across the thin line between commerce and crime.
My Views: This book hooked me from its very first page. It is unlike any mystery/ thriller I have read till now and makes for a fast-pace read.
The plot is innovative and complicated. I really liked the character of Mark Cornell.
The writing is different from the usual and makes for an easy, quick read.
I am not able to explain it why but I really liked this book for its unique approach to mystery/thriller writing.
I will agree I did get a bit confused towards the end when the mysery resolves and I may not be too sure about a few things but nevertheless this book is a good one.
A note for the author- Are you planning to make this into a Mark Cornell series? It will work great that way.
Robert C. Fleet – SALT CITY – author
Robert Fleet took a youth in Texas, Missouri & New York, university education in Syracuse, Amsterdam & London, and then spent the first years of his career as actorwriter with the Chinese “Zignal Theater Ensemble” at La Mama E.T.C. A summer in Poland at Jerzy Grotowski’s Teatr Laboratorium lengthened into extended stay — and writing a Polish serialized crime novel, Salt City, in order to obtain a visa to remain in the thenCommunist country to marry the woman he saw on his first day there: his artistic collaboratorwife ever since, Alina Szpak. In America, Robert’s NYC theater activities included directing children’s theater, Yiddish historical dramas, Irish repertory, full fledged spectacles, and his own works.
Teamed with Alina , Robert turned to film and video, directingacting in the 1980 drama “Unveiling,” about life in Manhattan’s SoHo society. Script doctoring a wilderness documentary in California led to production of his own feature script, 1984’s “Brothers of the Wilderness.”
In 1984-86, Robert adapted his magic realism novel, White Horse, Dark D (Putnam) into the screenplay for the feature film “White Dragon” (aka “Legend of the White Horse” aka “Bialy Smok”).
Forays into journalism have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Commonweal, and other venues. Robert has translated/adapted plays from the Chinese, Polish, Russian and French originals — often in collaboration. His 1994 novel, Last Mountain (Putnam) was nominated for an American Library Association award. In 1999, Robert directed the feature version of “Last Mountain,” coadapting the screenplay with his son, Stephan SzpakFleet. Information on the book and movie @ www.legend44.com/lastmountain
After the L.A. Riots, Robert collaborated with SoonTek Oh and the KoreanAmerican “Society of Heritage Performers,” adapting “Contemporary Korean Short Stories” for NPR, writing “Behind The Walls” (“that pointed nowhere familiar from Orwell, Koestler, Pinter, Dorfman…a Godotlike romp” BackStage), and “Don Juan, a tragicomedy of errors” (“reminiscent of Cyrano” L.A. Weekly). He codirected “Have You Heard,” one of only three American productions invited to the Theater of Nations Festival ’97.
Screenwriting recently, Robert wrote the shorts “A Good War,” Texas Waltz,” “The Wrong Path,” “Butterfly,” “The First Person” and “Zaufanie (Trust”) – the last two appearing at the Cannes Film Festival. His featurelength docudrama “To Die For Words: the Last Days of Ken SaroWiwa” is optioned, with acclaimed director Charles Burnett (“To Sleep with Anger”) committed to direct. In the past few years, two of Robert’s feature screenplays were produced independently: “My Best Friend’s Deception,” a black comedy/mystery (Cinegraphe Pictures, Canada) — and “Player,” a drama, directed by Alina Szpak (Legend 44 Productions – trailer at www.playerthemovie.us).
Acting, recently: In addition to playing the lead in “Player,” Robert Fleet is a familiar face on the festival circuit, appearing in over three dozen shorts. On stage, Robert appeared in award winning Los Angeles productions of “Cabaret,” “LULU, a Play with Music” and in Stephan SzpakFleet’s “Pilate” at the L.A. Theatre Center. He is featured in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” playing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Dame Judi Dench.
A ridiculously undertrained carpenter, Robert has recently renovated his house under the despotic instructions of his producer/director wife, with no assistance from his son. They are owned by several pets.
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