Morris White escaped the crime and working-class roots in the Philly projects by learning to cook. He’s got great taste and impeccable kitchen skills, and now he’s a Sous Chef at a first-rate Philadelphia French bistro. The stove burners aren’t the only thing that’s on fire in Morris’s life, since his affair with Vicky Ward has just heated up. She’s the manager at the bistro and comes from money and a privileged background. Together, they’re dreaming of opening their own restaurant, where she’ll run the front-of-the-house business and he’ll run the kitchen.
But their dream gets sidetracked when Morris takes in his half-brother, Vince Kammer, who’s just been released from prison. Vince did time for a jewelry store robbery that went sideways, and the local mob boss who bankrolled the crime, Johnny “Stacks” Staccardo, is insisting that Vince pull another job to make up for the loss of the jewels he never received. Johnny Stacks has his gangster wannabe henchmen, Lenny and Mo, riding Vince pretty hard, and to make matters worse, Dick Franks, the corrupt cop who originally investigated the jewelry store heist, has gotten wind that Vince is out of the can. Franks believes Vince has the missing diamonds, and there’s not much that Franks won’t do to get his hands on those stones.
When Morris discovers Vince’s predicament, he has to summon the inner tough guy from his youth (and dig up a gun he had hidden away), to keep Vince from doing anything stupid. Caught between the gangsters, the vicious Dick Franks, and Vince’s own desire for revenge, Morris risks losing his new love, his dreams, even his life in order to save Vince from himself.
Praise for DARK AS NIGHT:
“Dark as Night is a funny, violent, and damn near perfect noir. If you like your heroes flawed, your villains amoral, and your body count high, you might well think that Mark T. Conard has been reading your mind. A fantastic debut.” —Tod Goldberg, author of Living Dead Girl
“If you crossed Anthony Bourdain’s Bone in the Throat with Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant and threw in a little bit of Carl Hiaasen for good measure you might get something like Mark T. Conard’s funny and brutal Dark as Night. He’s one to watch.” —Scott Phillips, author of The Walkaway