Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Three Day Affair

The Three Day Affair by Michael Kardos
Mysterious Press, 9/4/2012
Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-13: 9780802120267

The first debut novel from the newly relaunched Mysterious Press introduces a phenomenal new voice in the realm of crime fiction.
Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan are lifelong friends. Each have gone their separate ways as adults, living their own lives while forging their own careers. They have no reason to believe anything extraordinary will befall them. Until one shocking moment changes everything…
Will is a part-time drummer who spends the rest of his time in recording studios. He has lived a sheltered existence. Then one night Jeffrey attempts to rob a convenience store, drags a young woman into Will’s car, and shouts a single word: “Drive!” Shaken and confused, Will obeys.
Suddenly three ordinary men find themselves completely out of their element, holding a young girl hostage without the slightest idea of what to do next. They are already guilty of kidnapping and robbery; it is only a matter of time before they find out just what else they’re capable of. For these four people, three days will decide their fate—between freedom and prison, innocence and guilt…and life and death. In the tradition of Scott Smith’s classic A Simple Plan, THE THREE-DAY AFFAIR marks the emergence of a truly talented new crime writer.

My Thoughts:

I dare you to start The Three Day Affair by Michael Kardos and not race through to the end. Thankfully I had the time to do just that after starting it. Will, Jeffrey, Nolan, and Evan are old college friends who get together for a weekend reunion of golf with the guys every year. All four are successful in different ways: Jeffery is a dot com millionaire, Nolan is running for Congress, Evan is a lawyer, and Will is a struggling record producer. Both Will and Jeffrey are married and expecting their first child. 

As the narrator, Will inspires trust as the story unfolds. The guys are coming to his home for their weekend this year. His wife is leaving town so the friends can have a testosterone filled weekend. Will plans to ask his friends to invest in his  plans to open his own independent record label, but this year the reunion starts in an unexpected way for Will, Jeffrey, and Nolan. 

Stopping at a convenience store, Jeffrey robs the store and kidnaps the young female clerk. Coming out of the store, jumping into the car he orders Will to "Drive!" and a confused Will does, without questioning why. Suddenly the three friends are in an impossible situation and are trying to find a way out of their dilemma. I don't want to say much more than that.

Kardos is an excellent writer. The characters are well developed and realistic. I thought I knew everything that was happening but I'll have to admit to a few surprises. The present day chapters are juxtaposed with chapters about earlier interactions between the characters, especially when they were in college. This was a well written, easy to read, and extremely enjoyable mystery. The ending actually surprised me.   Highly Recommended


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Mysterious Press and Netgalley for review purposes.


Six years ago, my band’s bassist was shot dead in a New York nightclub. Her name was Gwen Dalton, and she’d only been with the band a few months when she was killed. opening

I wasn’t making music anymore, but I was helping others to make it. Cynthia got promoted several times at the PR firm. And when we found out she was pregnant, we were glad. Three years had passed since our move to Newfield, and we felt ready for this child in our lives. By then, violent crime was about the furthest thing from my mind, until the night when I helped one of my best friends kidnap a young woman. Location 48-51

"Just do me a favor and don’t get into too much trouble while I’m gone.” As if this were going to be a wild bachelor party instead of old friends catching up. Playing a few rounds of golf. A little poker. “And maybe carry my suitcase for me.” I brought her bag to her car, asked if the tank was full, if the cell phone was charged.
“Call me before you go to bed,” I said. We kissed, and my fingertips brushed the small of her back as she bent down to get in the car. I stood on the front lawn, squinting in the sunlight, as she backed out of the driveway, waved her pretty fingers, and drove away. Location 108-112

“You’re going to run into costs you never expected. That’s how business works. So if you think you’ll need fifty thousand, then you ought to be raising a hundred. So no, I won’t invest ten thousand. But I’ll invest twenty.”  Location 135-136

I hadn’t planned to ask anyone other than Nolan for money this weekend. But now that the matter was on the table, I couldn’t help weighing Jeffrey’s enormous wealth against the relatively small investment Nolan was asking him to make. Okay, so Jeffrey was feeling a little gloomy lately. But still. If our situations had been reversed, I liked to think I would’ve opened my checkbook without any hesitation. Location 187-190

Sometimes Cynthia asked me what we talked about when we got together and played our rounds of golf. She must have imagined us on the course baring our souls, the game primarily an occasion for the talk of old friends. But it wasn’t that way. We talked, but mostly we golfed. Conversation tended to center around the previous shot, the next hole. Which club to use, which way the green might break. At night, over steaks, we’d reminisce. We had a deep well of stories from which to draw. But weightier conversation felt almost like an intrusion, business to be gotten through. Location 214-218

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