Bob can’t believe his luck. Why a woman like Ellie would be interested in a man like him he doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. Neither does he worry what the deal is between her and Vinny. For sure Vinny scares the hell out of him but Ellie only works for Vinny and Bob just wants a good time, and the thing he has for Ellie, well it’s nothing serious.
Bob works hard and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t let off a little steam. His wife and kids will never know and his friends will turn a blind eye. His behaviour may be bad but it's not as if anyone’s going to get hurt.
But soon Bob finds that he has more to worry about than just Vinny. There’s also Benny, and Jimmy’s just back from a five stretch inside. Then there’s the cop Murray who seems to take things a little too personally, and there’s his pal Joe who’s taking the moral high ground.
Before he knows it Bob’s in so deep he can’t see a way out. At least not until Vinny shows him one. Bob reckons that he owes his boss Dirkze nothing and that maybe Vinny’s plan can solve all of their problems. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just the start of them.
With Simple Acts of Kindness Richard Todd delivers a gritty urban noir that’s as twisted as it is addictive and original.
One thing was for certain, thought Bob Hallmark, and that was that tonight, one way or another, he was going to get his ashes hauled.
What a woman Ellie was. What a honey. What a bitch. He was going to stick it to her every fucking which way. In his present frame of mind he quite simply didn’t give a damn as to the consequences. It was odd, he reflected, how at times his wife and the house and the kids, all of the family shit, seemed like the most important thing in the whole world whilst at others, well, the sum of his ambition seemed to be nothing more than a simple and overwhelming need to shoot his load. And tonight she was damn well going to get it. Yes sir, thought Bob, as he pictured her in his mind’s eye, I’ve spent too much time screwing Suzie but thinking about Ellie. Tonight’s the night. Tonight I get this monkey from off of my back.
Before Bob had the opportunity to reply Suzie again called his name, but this time even more loudly.
“All right” he responded in irritation and exasperation. “All right, all right, I’m coming.”
He tramped downstairs to where a cup of tea was waiting for him on the breakfast bar in the kitchen. He screwed his face as he sipped at it. It was tepid and weak and tasted like shit. He swilled it down the sink.
“I need some help” Suzie stated in an accusatory tone. “I can’t be expected to do it all myself. It’s not fair.”
Bob felt guilty, for a moment or two. Suzie was a good wife and a great mother to his kids, there was no doubt about that. And Bob had tried to be a good husband and father too but there was no point in lying to himself any more, he simply didn’t have the character. He had long since ceased torturing himself over his moral failings. These days he just indulged them. Anyway, Suzie had let herself go. Once upon a time he had lusted after her but now, whenever he looked at her, he felt a twinge of disgust at what he saw. He reflected that he hated her hair, it was greying and it was middle length and it was boring. It used to be long and black and sexy as hell, but not now. Whatever her goddamn magazines may tell her, accepting middle age gracefully wasn’t sexy. Bob didn’t want sensible and he didn’t want middle aged. What Bob wanted was a woman, but the woman he wanted wasn’t Suzie, it was Ellie.
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Every picture tells a tale but just what is about that old photograph? And where the hell is that photograph anyway?
Bob's inexorably inching his way towards finding out but when he does will he like what he finds?
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Bob likes things easy and prowling the office floor and the pubs and clubs for women has always got him what he wants in the past. But Ellie, well she's a class above, or at least that's what Bob thinks. Bob's not scared of a gamble and he's no longer happy chasing the low hanging fruit. But if he raises his aim higher will his shot at love get him the girl of his dreams or a bullet in the head?…
Bob's a devious man and usually comes out smelling of roses, but this time it looks as if he may have bitten off more than he can chew. If this was just about Ellie you'd believe he'd pull it off but with Vinny, Benny and Jimmy lurking in the background I'd reckon his chances as being no more than 35% - coincidentally the same percentage as the funding for the book as has been raised to date.…
First things first: A big thank you to all those who have already shown faith. An even bigger thank you if you'll be good enough to spread the word. And an extra special thank you to Andrea Harman, wherever you are and whatever possessed you I hope that you won't be disappointed. Which leads on to.......
Second things second. There's still a long way to go and for those who have not yet shown…
These people are helping to fund Simple Acts of Kindness.