Tuesday 22 September 2015


Mark SaFranko has been on my radar for a few years - ever since I crossed paths with Murder Slim Press.

I hoovered up a few of his books - ok all of them then..... Hating Olivia, Hopler's Statement, God Bless America.....and the others. But never found the time to read them so boxed them up.

Last month whilst sorting the tubs, I came across The Favor and thought - why not. A wise choice as it proved to be one of my best book's last month - review here.

SaFranko composes, sings, writes, acts and paints..... and probably a few other things besides!

His website is here.

Four of his books are perhaps semi-autobiographical (if I'm wrong he might tell me!) and concern a recurring character - Max Zajack.
Probably not crime fiction but intriguing enough for me to rescue them from the buried books in the tubs when I find them.

2016 ought to be the year of the Max reading-wise!

The full list of his books from Fantastic Fiction website:

Max Zajack
1. Hating Olivia (2004)
2. Lounge Lizard (2007)
3. God Bless America (2010)
4. Dirty Work (2014)

The Favor (1988)
Hopler's Statement (1998)
No Strings (2012)
The Suicide (2014)

Loners (2008)

Dirty Work (2014)

"Dirty Work" is the fourth of Mark SaFranko's series of Max Zajack novels and follows the critically acclaimed "Hating Olivia," "Lounge Lizard" and "God Bless America." "Dirty Work" is the bridge between "God Bless America" and "Hating Olivia." Max has left school and is searching for a steady job that gives him enough sanity to survive. . .and enough free time to write. Drawing comparisons to both "Factotum" and "Death on the Installment Plan", the novel charts Max's struggles to make cash and become a great artist. As he writes: "How often does a man love what he's doing? Once or twice in a lifetime if he's lucky. For the artist it's more complicated. He's absorbed in himself, in his own inner machinery. The external world, the realm of dollars and cents, isn't usually of much interest to him. . .I didn't know what I was. But was I an artist? Where was the evidence? Right then and there I should have gotten up and walked out. But I didn't. When I suffered, I tended to stay put and suffer more."

The Suicide (2014)

Hoboken: an amorphous, former street-fighting city, transformed into a chic high-rent neighbourhood full of disposable incomes and high aspiration. Police detective Brian Vincenti is charged with investigating the case of a young woman's suicide - or murder - after she falls from an 11th floor window in an up-and-coming district. Equally as haunted by his past as he is tortured by his present, Vincenti's journey takes us beyond the damp, stained streets of Hoboken's nightlife and into his own chaotic world.


  1. He sounds like an interesting author, Col - a Renaissance kind of person. And his work sounds interesting, too. I'll be keen to know what you think of these when you've gotten the chance to read them.

    1. Margot - I am,looking forward to reading these. The earlier ones have perhaps been sat around too long - so no time like the present.... or in my case, probably early next year!

  2. Like The Favor, these sound interesting. I look forward to your reviews.

    1. Thanks Trayc. I'll get him pencilled in for early 2016 I think.

    2. Oops......fat fingered typo......sorry Tracy......

  3. Your whole-hearted praise for this writer is definitely doing a good job selling him. In time I may get to him.

    1. I hope you do Moira. I had a nice e-mail from him. He says he is possibly better known/more appreciated in the UK than he is at home. I hope more people read him!

  4. Col, I'm assuming these novels are not very long. Got to factor that in with every book I decide to read.

    1. Both are between 250 - 300 pages each. Quite brief compared to some of the door stops out today.