An enthralling collection of short fiction and nonfiction that draw upon McLoughlin's three-decade career in the criminal justice system.
"A wistful Irish sensibility and memories from a 30-year career as a peace officer in the New York City criminal justice system haunt this solid collection...With spare prose, McLoughlin creates memorable vignettes of urban life. Fans of Kent Anderson's Liquor, Guns & Ammo will want to check this out."
"Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms couldn't be more New York. Tim McLoughlin drops a ton of big-city knowledge and wisdom, rich in lived-in detail, with humor that's hard as the sidewalk."
--John Strausbaugh, author of City of Sedition
In Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Tim McLoughlin draws upon his three-decade career in the criminal justice system with his characteristic wit and his fascination with misfits and malfeasance. A lifetime immersed in New York City feeds short stories that evoke a landscape of characters rife with personal arrogance and misjudgment; and nonfiction essays about toeing the line when the line keeps disappearing.
An opioid-addicted catsitter electronically eavesdrops on his neighbors only to hear devastating truths. A degenerate gambler stakes his life on a long shot because he sees three lucky numbers on the license plate of a passing car.
In the nonfiction essays, we learn that the system plays a role in supporting vice, as long as it gets a cut. Altar boys compete to work weddings and funerals for tips in the shadow of predatory priests. Cops become robbers, and a mob boss just might be a civil rights icon. McLoughlin shines a light on worlds that few have access to.
A recurring theme in his urban, often New York-centric work is chronic displacement, people standing still in a city that is always changing. These are McLoughlin's ghosts, these casualties of progress, and he holds them dear and celebrates them.