Blood, a novel about a Career Criminal and Ex-Mercenary Seeking Redemption

Blood (286 pp, $17.95/paper, $25.95/cloth, ISBNs: 978-1-60381-804-9/978-1-60381-805-6), is a novel by Seattle author Jack Remick about a man who seeks redemption for a life steeped in violence.

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Blood has been earning extravagant praise.  Read on …

“For an author to choose as his explicit models Camus’s L’Etranger, Genet’s Notre Dame des Fleurs, and Sade’s Les 120 Journées de Sodom (all of which he has obviously read in French) and to earn the right to be mentioned in their company is quite a goal to strive for: one that only time will verify but that perhaps Jack Remick has indeed achieved.”

To read more of this review by Wayne Gunn of LambdaLiterary.org, click here.

“Be prepared for a wild ride as the author, Jack Remick, does not ease gently into the story. From the very first page, the reader is immediately swept up by the prose as if caught in a flash flood. Multilayered themes combine with Mitchell’s nightmarish delusions blurring into reality: corporate and individual corruption, biology versus destiny, environmental damage and human depravity, betrayal and deception. The narrative is rhythmic, almost hypnotic, with a cadence like a relentless drum beat or at times a turbulent raging river. All of this combines to result in one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

San Francisco Book Review

“A fascinating novel of a truly unusual character, Blood is hard to put down,” says Small Press Bookwatch.

“Jack Remick writes prose with such poetic fluidity and effortlessly calls beliefs on humanity into the spotlight to be rigorously challenged. The urge to intellectualize this story may arise, but to feel and live inside it is to truly unlock its power.” Read more ….

–Nicole Disney

“I am still tortured with awe because I can’t shake the love story in that gruesome cell,” says Stewart Stern, screenwriter for Rebel Without A Cause and The Ugly American.

“A powerful tale written with total intensity,” says Robert J. Ray, author of the Matt Murdock mysteries. “You won’t be able to put it down.”

Blood is delightful to read,” says Natalie Goldberg, Author of Writing Down the Bones and Old Friend From Far Away. “It has heart and honesty—fun, too. Full of surprise and the heat and throb of human life.”

Author Priscilla Long calls Jack Remick “the Jean Genet of the 21st century.”

Ex-mercenary Hank Mitchell gets five years hard time for stealing a tubful of women’s underwear. In prison, Mitch finds the peace he needs to write his own story—a saga of family deception, sexual obsession, and contract killing. Now his time is up and his family wants him back in the killing game …

About the novel, Remick explains, “I inadvertently gathered information for the CIA while in Peru but  I have no connections to any clandestine, paramilitary, or espionage units of any kind. I wrote Blood to help a close friend come to grips with his bisexuality. But no characters or situations in Blood are based on any actual people or events. The prison in this novel is a fabrication, although one of my close friends spent two years in a Venezuelan prison for political reasons, and his stories lit up my imagination to the extent that I felt comfortable fictionalizing his experiences. The family situation in Blood is a complete fiction, although every character has an analog.”

Jack Remick co-authored The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery, with Robert J. Ray. He has a collection of short fiction, Terminal Weird (Black Heron Press), a novel, The Stolen House (Pig Iron Press) as well as work in The Seattle Five Plus One, an anthology (Pig Iron Press). Deeply engaged in the Seattle writing community, Remick teaches, blogs, and participates in writing sessions at Louisa’s Café where he mentors local writers.  Jack’s stories and poems have appeared in national magazines such as Carolina Quarterly, Portland Review, Big Hammer, Café Noir Review, and Northwind. Remick has lived and worked extensively in Latin America. Check out his website at Blood.Camelpress.com.

Blood is available in Kindle ($5.95) and print editions on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.Japan. Bookstores and libraries can order by contacting info@Camelpress.com or through Ingram or Baker and Taylor. Other electronic versions can be purchased on Smashwords or at any of the major online ebook stores.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

I walk into the library. No one wants to go there so permission isn’t questioned. I leave Artie, the guard, at the door, a shit-eating grin on his face as he closes me in. He says,

What’s with the books, Mitchell? You a brainiac?

No, I say. I’m looking for toilet paper.

You’re in the right place, asshole.

He keys the door. In the quiet, I smell the odor of musty paper, taste the dust in the air, see the thin veneer of dust on the table, on the lone chair, see the fine coating of dust on the floor—no foot prints, no tracks, as if this place once built, was abandoned, left to decay.

I flip on a light. The dull angry neon tubes buzz, suggesting bees in a flowering field, but there are no bees, no flowers, just the angry buzzing of the neons. A yellow glaze reflects from the table dust and in the air, I see the rain of motes settling. I take a deep breath, walk into the stacks.

The books are out of order—hardbacks stacked on top of paperbacks. The chaos of an earthquake unreclaimed but left as they fell—and the books are dusty, flung at angles to one another. I want to straighten them out, put them in order, and so I stack a few, feel the grit of years of dust like a fine facial powder between my fingers.

I read the titles—English Roses in the Traditional Garden. The Lilacs of Two Continents. French Dahlias. The Quest for the Blue Rose. Fifty books on flowers.

I line them up by size the way books are stored in the old university libraries in England and France.

In a few minutes, I’ve arranged the books on flowers and then I chart a course deeper into the stacks where books have not been touched for decades, their embossed letterings still pristine and pure, their bindings still unbroken, and I see that I have landed in a history section. But once again there is no order—Medieval History and the Hidden Statues of Amiens Cathedral followed by Ancient Greek Stage Machinery followed by The History of Cornwall in the 19th Century—again, chaos.

But I’m not interested in what’s on the surface. I have seen libraries. I know the secrets of books and that the secrets aren’t always in the books because men hide their secrets and fetishes not high up, but in plain sight behind the known, behind the obvious, that’s where the sins and perversions lurk. I pull books off the shelves. Three and four at a time. Looking for the jewels, the crimes left by the men who came before me and there, right at eye level, half hidden behind a book on the Lives of the Muslim Saints of the 10th Century, I spy a small volume—a paperback—and I recover it.

L’Étranger, Albert Camus.

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