CIRCLE JERK by rollo thomassey


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An unapologetically raunchy work of crime fiction about an endearing Pittsburgh hood who attempts to avenge the murder of his friend, in the process becoming a kind of local folk hero.

Though powered by a cast of well-developed characters and virtually nonstop action and adventure, this narrative is peppered with grammatical errors. Those errors notwithstanding, the solidly built storyline is replete with impressive plot twists. Jackie Fajt, a well-known face in the North Side region of Pittsburgh, was raised by a cantankerous tavern owner named Maxie and liked by virtually everyone in the neighborhood. Jackie grew up, joined the military and came back a disabled war hero. Now, working for a scumbag gangster named Spider, he’s staring down a dead-end existence. In hopes of a monetary gain, he even hatches a wild plan to disrupt Pittsburgh’s upcoming G-20 summit with threats of violence. But while out collecting money from local businesses for Spider, Jackie finds out that his boss has been murdered—and he now has more than $25 million in cash. With his newfound windfall, Jackie amends his plan so that it will also avenge the recent murder of a homeless man he had befriended years earlier. But when an oversexed, foulmouthed FBI agent named Micki Malone is assigned to track down the person making threats regarding the G-20 summit, the plot grows complicated with political infighting, libidinous encounters and more than a few devious attempts at double-crossing. Some of the scenes are downright jaw-dropping—as when Jackie interrupts a Steelers playoff game by flying a model airplane carrying propane tanks into a transformer—but Thomassey makes it work in a confident, edgy narrative that will offend some readers and entertain others.

A brutal, Tarantino-esque novel fueled by nonstereotypical characters and visceral scenes.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4826-1261-5
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014


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