Wednesday, January 19, 2005

My Throw Down Piece

"My Throw Down Piece" by Patrick J. Lambe, Mississippi Review, January 2005

This is a story of unrequited love, a dirty cop, murder and, perhaps, a little bit of redemption. Mr. Lambe's story would have fit perfectly into Penzler's Dangerous Women anthology.

There is a woman, of course, a damaged woman, the most dangerous kind. Kelly collects men like a longhaired dog collects burrs. One of the men she has collected, Mike, is an innocent. He is in love and believes she is good at heart.

Another man she has collected, Tolland, is a dirty cop with sidelines in armed robbery and murder. He knows precisely what Kelly is: someone to enjoy for a while but not to be kept around. A throw down piece.

Tolland is sleeping with Kelly. Mike isn't, never has, never will.

The problems begin when Mike takes Tolland's throw down piece -- the kind that goes BANG. Tolland doesn't know what Mike's going to do with it. Is he going to try to kill Kelly, Tolland or someone else entirely? Normally he wouldn't care. The gun is unregistered and untraceable. Well, almost untraceable. It seems that Tolland's captain can connect that gun to him. Unfortunately Tolland had used that particular gun to whack an armored car guard that recognized him as one of the men who robbed his shipment.

Tolland would normally have gotten rid of the incriminating weapon, but his suspension came before he could dump it. And Tolland really needs a gun. If Mike uses it to kill someone, it will be connected to the murder of the armored car guard. The captain might then see it and remember where he saw it last. Tolland has to find Mike and the gun before Mike does something stupid.

Mr. Lambe did a fine job making Tolland real. Well-drawn characters have flaws. Tolland's flaw is that he cares enough about his fellow man to want to protect someone he sees as an innocent. Otherwise he'd be a perfect bad guy.

In short, I liked it.


At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the review and I'm glad you liked the story. I work with Dave Zeltserman on Harluck stories so I had the privledge of getting a sneak preview of you audio story. I liked it and the concept a lot.

Thanks again.

Pat Lambe

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Bob said...

My pleasure, Pat. I'm glad you liked "Grasshopper." I'm doing some serious thinking and research on MP3s and distribution channels. You'll be seeing more about it on the blog later on.

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