Seldom is the concept for a story accompanied by a concept for a cover. Let me know what you think… With luck the full story will be finished sometime this summer.
The Tangled Man
Damien Cole is an ex-cop turned private investigator. He is a traditionalist―honest, but pragmatic. He owns two suits, both gray with black leather shoes and a navy blue tie. He wears a brown fedora―not because it matches his suit, but because it was his partner’s, the one who took the bullet that was meant for him.
He likes his whiskey neat and his women slightly tarnished. He stays away from commitment and keeps his emotions to himself. He lives alone in a small apartment within walking distance of his office, but he isn’t completely alone. A cat named Ethel lives with him sporadically and doesn’t object to his odd hours or his drinking and smoking.
He smokes cheap off-brand unfiltered cigarettes and refuses to quit. He started smoking because, as a cop, he figured his life would be short so he might as well enjoy it. Now that he’s older he figures that the damage is done, so why give it up. A little shortness of breath and a cough now and then doesn’t slow him down that much. It doesn’t happen all the time and it’s not like he has the “big C”.
His face is clean shaven and his hair is respectably short, a last hold over from his military service. His face is angular―not handsome, but storied, filled with character. It is the kind of face that shows leathery toughness on the verge of vulnerability. His brown eyes are dark and probing, the kind that see through your mask to your soul to reveal your inner truth.
He carries two pistols. He carries a Harry Callahan in a quick release shoulder holster and a 9mm on his ankle. He treats both weapons like they are his children, caring for them better than he does himself. Since he doesn’t ever want his children to go hungry he carries four extra clips. And he needs them because the world he inhabits is dark, angry, and lost.
His world is the city. Beyond it is nothing―or it might as well be. Within it are tall, gray, ugly buildings constricting narrow crowded streets jammed with old, ill-maintained vehicles piloted by dubious men and women intent on survival in world that places little value on property and less on life. Why the city is the way it is doesn’t matter. That it is the way it is does matter. This is Damien Cole’s world. It is depressing and dangerous. It is cold and unforgiving. It is the end and the beginning.