In a city of mob rule and crime, death is cheap, and police have their hands tied. In this dark metropolis, a new paladin arises to fight against injustice. A man of education, dedicated to fighting evil with fire against fire, the man in the black fedora.
“Mrs. Akiko. That’s her married name. Born in America. Third or fourth generation, so she’s American. Akiko is her married name, as I said. Her husband was in the Army. Killed in Afghanistan or Iraq, not sure which. She’s kept the store open, running it by herself. That’s about all I know. A really nice lady, though.”
“Wait a minute, Mouse, there’s a couple men walking up to her door now.”
“That looks like the hoodlums, Rocky. They must have been waiting for her to open the shop. You want we should go over and bang some heads together?”
“No, I want you to stay here and see that nothing happens to your daughter. I’ll take care of this. Oh, when you see them leave, there might be a strange car following them. Don’t worry about it, that’s what we’ve planned. I’m not going to kill anyone. I want them to get away, so my friend can follow them. Get it?”
“Yeah, Rocky, but just remember, I’m here if you need me.”
“I’ve got to go, Mouse, I don’t want to leave her alone with those men in there for long.” He turned toward Jeanie. “Thanks for the coffee, Miss.”
“Anytime. Please come back and visit Pop when you can.”
Rocky moved across the street at a fast pace, though it appeared he was walking normally. Years in the ring made his movement flow easily.
At the door, he saw he was still in time. The men were just talking with the girl behind the counter.
As he opened the door, a little bell chimed when he pushed the door inward. The hoods turned to look at him.
“The store’s closed, friend. Come back another time,” one of the men said with a smile.
Rocky smiled back but kept walking straight for the counter.
“Are you deaf? I said the store was closed.”
“I have business in the store; it’s never closed to me,” Rocky said.
“Please leave, sir,” Mrs. Akiko warned.
“Well, I’m telling you that today you don’t have business here. Get out before you get hurt!”
Reaching the counter, Rocky asked, “Are these men harassing you, Miss?”
A sudden light came into her eyes. “Thank God, the police. Yes, they are. Would you please escort them from my store, Officer?”
This time the first man pulled a revolver from beneath his jacket and was aiming it at Rocky when a huge mallet-like fist piled into the hoodlum’s solar plexus. The mobster doubled up with a grunt, his face already beginning to turn green.
AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS:
Tom was a voracious reader from an early age, beginning with comic books at age seven and reading novels by age 10 or 11. He has never stopped reading for pleasure, though his interest in genres have often switched from SF to western, to hardboiled detectives, the classics, and back to science fiction again over the years. In his own writing, readers will often find something about his love of zoology, whether insects, reptiles, or saber-tooth cats. Tom had a stroke in March 2002. Now retired, he and his wife devote their time to keeping Tom’s books in print, as well as helping promote other writers.
They settled in Tom’s hometown of Seymour, Texas, home of the Whiteside Museum of Natural History, and the red-bed digs near the town where Permian fossils have been discovered for over a hundred years. A 250-million-year-old amphibian, the Seymouria was discovered in the red-beds and is named after Seymour. One of the main predators of the Permian was a large finback reptile called a Dimetrodon, and a statue is displayed outside the museum. Several of Tom’s books are on hand in the museum. With over 80 books in print that he has contributed to, Tom has slowed down now. He is still writing children’s stories while promoting his books still on the market. Plus, he still has hopes of one day seeing his short novel, Pangaea: Eden’s Planet, made into a film.
Note: The Man in the Black Fedora was released September 26, 2019. Tom passed away on November 5, 2019. The book will remain in print posthumously for the length of the contract.
“The Man in the Black Fedora” was an unexpected adventure with a new twist on the classic Noir genre. The world that Tom Johnson creates has a very 40’s feel set in a modern day and age.
Action packed from the start, the story follows Kay Shannon and her immersion into a world filled with adventure, espionage, and mystery.
The most interesting part to me was the way the author was able to bring supernatural elements to the table, giving the mysterious hero an edge over the bad guys. The cast of characters on his team each have their own set of skills that gives them a leg up on their enemies and makes them an asset to their boss.
It was enjoyable to read through as the mystery unfolded. From art theft to mob hits, the story ties together at the end with a satisfying conclusion for the team and the reader.