Knuckleball is a noir novella by Tom Pitts set in San Francisco during a busy baseball weekend when a well-liked police officer is gunned down (available March 24, 2015).
With its ever-sprouting skyscrapers, Google buses, and $12 juices, contemporary San Francisco is an unlikely setting for Noir. Not that San Francisco can’t work as the backdrop for other types of crime stories. After all, felonies are committed by all socioeconomic classes (I’m looking at you, Robert Durst). But as a location for the doomed, dark stories spun in traditional Noir, modern-day San Francisco, where the sky (and rent) is literally the limit, is an incongruous choice, to say the least.
Yet somehow, Tom Pitts continues to successfully mine San Francisco for exactly these types of sordid tragedies. In his first full-length novel, Hustle, Pitts wrote about the neglected corners of the skid row Tenderloin neighborhood like only an insider could. In place of hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, and software engineers were male street hustlers, drug addicts, and blackmailers. For Knuckleball, a shotgun blast of a novella from short fiction specialist One Eye Press, Pitts takes us into San Francisco’s Mission district. Not surprisingly, this is not the Mission of trendy restaurants and expensive boutiques, but the original, working class Mission, the barrio, populated with families, corner tiendas, and of course, hustlers of all stripes.
[You're in for a memorable trip...]