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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Mystery & Detective / Hard-Boiled
  • Language:English
  • Pages:234
  • eBook ISBN:9781543919608
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483581705


by Paul Mercurio

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Rockland is the real time account of three days in the life of Frankie Breeze - ex-Marine, ex-biker, ex-husband and father. Breeze, like many Americans circa 1980, has lost his way. He’s marking time, depending on the day and mood, as a college student and cab driver. One morning he picks up a dangerous fare: a major cocaine dealer, Johnny Timbro, who wants to retire alive with a handsome pension, courtesy of twelve kilos stolen from his masters. He’s already being hunted and Breeze undertakes to keep him alive. In return Timbro offers Breeze half the proceeds from the skimmed contraband. But the prospect of wealth and a shared attraction with Timbro’s beautiful, estranged wife Dinah seem oddly secondary to Breeze. Saving Timbro becomes a quest, a redemptive task that will somehow put right all that is wrong with his life. This conviction isn’t merely quixotic, it is the sum total of Breeze’s desperation and hope, attested by the escalating mayhem he wreaks. And he will see this journey through to the last deadly confrontation.


About the Book - Years ago, while working towards a degree in Journalism, I elected to take a class in creative writing.  The course was taught by novelist David Bradley.  By semester’s end I had written the first draft of Rockland.  Although the manuscript proved raw and uneven, as most first drafts are, David told me I had hit a “home run.”  Heady stuff, as his second book The Chaneysville Incident would soon win the Penn Faulkner Award for fiction.  Unfortunately, after numerous drafts, stops, starts, and rejection letters, Rockland never saw the light of day.  Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.  I finished the novel and put it away.

Last year I was reading about the difficulties faced by veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  How ill-prepared and indifferent we are in caring for these men and women suffering not just from physical and psychic wounds but spiritual scars as well.  It occurred to me – these damaged souls were like the Vietnam veteran in my novel.  Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide in this country.  That makes me angry.  But it also gave me this idea.  What if I published my book and donated some of the proceeds to an organization that helps veterans?  I’ve been fortunate to have a good job with good benefits most of my adult life.  It has allowed me to provide for family and friends.  Maybe it was time to give back.  Pay it forward.

So here’s the deal.  After doing some homework I have decided to self-publish Rockland.  I will donate half the profits to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation (www.mc-lef.org).  My father was a Marine and served in the South Pacific during WWII so this feels like a good fit.  The MC-LEF provides scholarships to the children of fallen Marines and Federal Law Enforcement Agents as well as humanitarian aid.  $15 for a book by an unpublished author might sound a lot.  But think of it this way.  You would be giving something back to the men and women who gave so much for us.  And if you like the story, well, that’s my gift to you. - PM

(Note: Thanks to all who have purchased the book.  As of September 2018 we have donated $1800 to the MC-LEF and $200 to Brandon Holiday's ATHLETES WITH DISABILITIES NETWORK.  Spread the word and Pay It Forward).    

About the author

Paul Mercurio was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a member of the United Steelworkers Local 10-00086 where he has held the positions of Steward, Trustee, Plant Committee and Recording Secretary and served as Chairman of the Communication and Safety Committees. He holds a degree in Journalism from Temple University where he studied Creative Writing with David Bradley. This is his first novel.