The ka-shunk sound of a sawed-off shotgun leveraging a load of double-ought buckshot into the chamber no longer thrills him as it once did. The image of Jo Jo Vitalli sinking into a vat of bread dough, his throat cut, no longer satisfies. Or Big Sam LeBruiser in the plastic-bottle shredder – an episode his peers still speak of in tones of hushed reverence – he finds tedious. These and countless equally notorious episodes he orchestrated over the years, each with the precision and verve of a master artisan, have garnered him a following in certain circles; respect even, for what one pundit referred to as his seamless, ice-cold professionalism.
But these scenarios have begun to strike him as unimaginative, lacking in savoir-faire. Crude even. He fears he is mellowing, going soft, losing his edge.
However, it is the only work he knows.
Crime writing had not been his first choice. In the beginning he had hoped to write literary novels.