Ask the Dice

Ask the Dice Over the past two decades Tommy Mack Zane has faithfully worked as a contract killer for Watson Ogg the Washington D C crime boss Now middle age creeping up finds Tommy Mack edgy jaded and weary

  • Title: Ask the Dice
  • Author: Ed Lynskey
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Over the past two decades, Tommy Mack Zane has faithfully worked as a contract killer for Watson Ogg, the Washington, D.C crime boss Now middle age creeping up finds Tommy Mack edgy, jaded, and weary of his grisly trade As he contemplates retirement, he is framed for the murder of Mr Ogg s niece Desperate, Tommy Mack enlists the aid of his friends, the mercurial D NoOver the past two decades, Tommy Mack Zane has faithfully worked as a contract killer for Watson Ogg, the Washington, D.C crime boss Now middle age creeping up finds Tommy Mack edgy, jaded, and weary of his grisly trade As he contemplates retirement, he is framed for the murder of Mr Ogg s niece Desperate, Tommy Mack enlists the aid of his friends, the mercurial D Noble and burly Esquire to do battle with Mr Ogg and his mercenary dark suits A new, better life filled with his passions for poetry and jazz drives Tommy Mack to the slambang climax where a few dark secrets about his past are unearthed Told in spare, lean prose, Ask the Dice is a brisk, literate, and idiosyncratic noir Mr Lynskey s crime novels have been praised by such luminaries as James Crumley, Ken Bruen, and Megan Abbott Robert Wade Wade Miller wrote in the San Diego Union Tribune A new wave of young writers is experimenting with the old style thriller the most promising is Ed Lynskey.

    One thought on “Ask the Dice”

    1. Professional hit-man Tommy Mack Zane is going on 55 and looking forward to a nice retirement. Unfortunately for him, plans have changed upon finding out he's been framed for the murder of big boss Mr. Ogg's niece. Suspecting the man himself is behind the frame, Zane and his band of bizarre cohorts go about finding answers and payback, all while dodging bullets and the police.Overall it's a fun, easy, fast paced read with interesting characters who exhibit shades of Westlake's Dortmunder Series ( [...]

    2. I'm a fan of adoptee noir, so it was a pleasant surprise to find Ask the Dice a member of that growing subgenre. No doubt some adoption deformers will get the vapors at the thought of a hit man who just happens to be adopted (hit man, might be too benevolent--from the way Tommy Mack Zane our protagonist and narrator tells it,the number of dead pile up in the hundreds), but as a Bastard I found it refreshing and so un-PC. Even better, he's a TRA hit man, black and adopted by a white Washington DC [...]

    3. Ask The Dice tells the story of an over the hill hitman, Tommy Mack Zane, who is thinking of getting out of the game. This process is hurried along when he is framed for the murder of his boss' niece. Dodging, ducking and weaving as he tries to figure out who, what and where, Tommy tries to stay alive long enough to retire in one piece. A reasonably entertaining mystery, with a full rounded main character, Ask The Dice gets the job done.Tommy Mack Zane is a jazz loving 50+ year old black hitman [...]

    4. It's been a long time since I have read a noir story. Back then it was Andrew Vachss. Now it's Ed Lynskey. I can't speak for Ed's other novels, as this stand alone story is the very first I have read by him. However, if this shows how great his other novels are, then sign me up!Tommy Mack Zane is a hit man, a hired assassin, working for the company man - blind Mr. Ogg. Mr. Ogg sounds like a cretin. He appears to have no scruples or morals, and makes the decisions to have people offed without so [...]

    5. Tommy Mack doesn't think of himself as getting old. In his mid-fifties, he's still the top hit-man in the Washington D.C. area. So, it's no surprise when mob-leader Watson Ogg asks him to sort out the problems his niece has been having--someone, apparently, has been blackmailing her. Mack gets on the job, drives out to talk to the niece, and finds her dead. Not just murdered, but murdered with a double-tap from a .22--Mack's signature technique. All of which means that Mack has been framed and h [...]

    6. The noir atmosphere, dialogue, tone and feel of Ask the Dice are right on target. Ed Lynskey has obviously read lots of hardboiled fiction and can navigate his way through those dark alleys and shadowy streets with the best of them. Tommy Mack Zane is a character we’re instantly interested in: he’s 54, old-school, writes poetry, loves jazz and despises cell phones. Sure, he’s a throwback, but Lynskey makes him a likable throwback, a man with plenty of smarts trying to do his job and do it [...]

    7. Tommy Mack Zane is a hitman who is getting completely out of touch of the world. He's not able to work any more, nor can he keep up on the new technological progress. In short, he's a man who has no reason to exist. Throughout the novel he keeps on reminiscing the highlights and lowlights of his career, while trying to end his current life and start a new one. In this way, the novel has the same feel as the 1960s French art-house film noirs, where the action is less frequent and the characters s [...]

    8. Tommy Mack Zane is a 50 something black man with some problems. Not only is he thinking more about his poetry than his paying job, but a wild hair has gotten him back to smoking. The phone company keeps removing pay phones from the city, and he refuses to use a cell phone. He has become allergic to guns, literally, as his skins breaks out when he touches one, which puts a bit of a crimp in his profession as the hired assassin for the criminal Mr. Ogg. And, oh yeah, now Mr. Ogg thinks Tommy Mack [...]

    9. I loved this book because Tommy Mack was such a unique character. His profession was that of a hit man and his take on the world. He had heart and he also was very loyal until you crossed him. then it was just business.I think the Kindle format sometimes doesn't allow us to see the difference in time and that is the only thing I didn't like about this book. Because it was in present time and then would go back to prior times. This was not easily discerned until you were a couple of sentences in [...]

    10. Ed is a Shelfari "friend", and this is the third book of his that I have read. The others were, "The Blue Cheer", in his "Frank Johnson" series, and "Lake Charles". All three have a gritty, "noir" feel, with flawed protagonists, which Ed does very well. In this one, the main character is a 54 year old, black, hitman for the mob, suffering a mid-life crisis, and framed for the "hit" of his boss' niece. Tommy Mack Zane is a walking dichotomy. He's a contract killer, who loves bebop jazz, and write [...]

    11. A great new twist on a crime novel! Fifty-four year old Tommy Mack, hitman, decides its time to retire.He's worked for mob boss Watson Ogg all his life. Mr Ogg has framed him for his neice's murder. He would prefer Tommy being permanently retired.Tommy is now between a rock and a hard place, the mob and the police are both after him for the supposed killing of Gwen Ogg.The story moves back and forth between the current scenes and Tommy Mack's past. You get a glimpse into how Tommy comes to be on [...]

    12. Ask The Dice was a good read for fans of crime novels. I particularly enjoyed the format author Ed Lynskey employed. Once the initial dilemma was established, the chapters basically alternated between the task at hand and flashbacks over a life as a hit man. The story follows hit man Tommy Mack Zane as he is framed for a murder by the mob boss that he has worked for basically his whole life. There is just no loyalty in the murder business, I suppose. Tommy Mack goes on the run and begins to refl [...]

    13. Tommy Mack Zane is a black hit man, but also a complex individual facing a mid-life crisis. He's a retro guy who likes typewriters and real telephones. Raised by white adoptive parents in a suburb of Washington, D.C he takes his assignments from the local crime boss Mr. Ogg. When Mr. Ogg's niece is in trouble, he sends Tommy to take out her blackmailer, but Tommy finds her already dead. Now Tommy is the lead suspect in her murder and he finds out Mr. Ogg has most likely set him up.With no one to [...]

    14. Ask the Dice is a well crafted mystery, fast and sweet, with the kinds of twists and turns that keep your attention. The protagonist, Tommy Mack Zane, is tired of his life of destruction -- Tommy yearns for a life of art and creativity, but his quest for peace is balked when he is framed for the murder of a powerful dangerous man's relative.This is a perfect beach or vacation read, quick and zippy, with fun characters and snappy dialogue. Author Ed Lynskey is an alumnus of mine -- we were both f [...]

    15. It has been a few years since I reviewed Ed Lynskey's earlier book, Lake Charles. This is a much different book than that one--crime noirish for sure! It is different to have a hit man as the main character, certainly a black man who grew up in a white foster home. We later find out how that happened. Tommy Mack Zane works for Mr. Watson Ogg, who knows, in the little blue book, just how many hits Tommy has done. Besides this line of work, Tommy writes free verse, and appreciates good jazz. Being [...]

    16. Hitman, Tommy Mack Zane, has been set up. His boss’s favorite niece has been killed and Tommy Mack is the favorite, suspected by both his boss and the cops. The protagonist of this piece is unique. He has a poet’s heart, a love of jazz, and an allergy to guns. Literally, since he breaks out in a distressing skin rash every time he picks his up. “The job touched—and then poisoned—every single aspect of my life . . .” Assisted by a posse of odd-ball sidekicks, it’s a race to the fini [...]

    17. I have always enjoyed crime novels where the main character is someone on the wrong side of the law. In this case, it's a hit-man. It's good to see that the crime novel is in the hands of up and coming writers like Lynskey. I really enjoyed this novel. The author has a good ear for dialogue. Like the masters, Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block and the late Donald E. Westlake he also infuses his tale with some black comedy. This is the first by this author I have read and I will be looking out for mo [...]

    18. When I was reading the first chapter I thought the lead character Tommy Mack Zane was completely unlikeable and that I wouldn't enjoy the book. The book quickly got better and and I found myself hoping that everything would work out for Tommy Mack. My favorite authors are Micheal Connelly, Walter Mosley and recently George Pelecanos, this book wasn't quite at their level, but was worthwhile and I would definitely read the author's other books. For me the dialogue didn't ring true and felt a litt [...]

    19. ASK THE DICE is a great crime novel that I would highly recommend. Lynskey uses both real and fictitious settings which makes the use of this a strong aspect of this book. Zane, the main character is very engaging, doesn’t use a cell phone but occasionally delves into email and internet. His desire is in poetry. I found this a very interesting and entertaining novel that I couldn’t put down. In my books, it is definitely a must read!Rating: 4.5Heat Rating: NoneReviewed by: KellyR for My Book [...]

    20. Although the atmosphere and dialogue were as noir as noir can get, the feel of the novel was that of a modern thriller. Tommy Mack's speech, cadence and methods may be all Miles, but the rest of the characters were more of our times. A nice contrast between the classic noir and the modern thriller.The end was not as expected. Tommy Mack's future not as bleak as envisioned until just a few short pages before the end.I wish that more of my favorite crime novels ended as well as this one does.

    21. While the plot is the weakest aspect of this novel, because it contains a lot of tired elements of crime fiction (it's not easy to make a relevant hitman novel nowadays), Ed Lynskey's refreshing approach and charming protagonist Tommy Mack Zane will make it worth your wild. He's like one of your dad's mild mannered friends, who discussed killing people like one would discuss floor polishing in a hardware store. Lynskey had his vernacular, his own voice. Very fun read.

    22. Well written, entertaining book featuring a 54 year old black hit man trying to change his ways. The only minor drawbacks were, to me, the overdose of black slang and two female characters - Alex and Danny - who pop up pretty much out of nowhere to the detriment of the plot and the other characters.Having said that I have picked up a copy of Ed's "Lake Charles" and am very much looking forward to sinking my teeth into that one as well.

    23. A unique twist on the hit-man based crime novel. Lynskey delivers with the right amount of dark humor, brutal violence, character development and redemption to make a very enjoyable read. This is my second novel I’ve read by Mr. Lynskey, both were very well written but from very different “voices”. He definitely has the chops. Highly recommended.

    24. If you are a fan of Noir, Hard-Boiled, or just like a nice gritty read then "Ask The Dice" is right up your alley. Lynskey keeps the pace nice and brisk while delivering a satisfying story.

    25. Good solid story with interesting character twists. The usual suspects only Lynskey gives them a different twist. A very enjoyable story for a cold winter afternoon.

    26. I enjoyed this book even tho I felt a little queasy about liking a hit man. Very dark noir and very well written.

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