Six Hours Past Thursday
by Jack Payne
Legal con man crashes through unusual love story, hammerlike climax.
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About the Book
man. Successful business broker. Enough? Not for Steve Draves.
He crosses the boundary that rings in his seemingly moral, ethical
life in the suburbs. Habitually, in fact. His high-risk exploits
include the sale of a prime development property in his own suburb
through a "Straw Man," that, if exposed, could force him to take
his family and run. And, a massively profitable mining stock sale
of a company about to file for bankruptcy. Also, sale of a shoe
manufacturing company which generates eight separate fees, four
times the sum he would normally collect.
His favorite style of business practice? Various. They range from
under-the-table deals, kickbacks, timely escrow placements and withdrawals,
and other forms of "legal" crime known only to him. His smell of
money is acute. Others' notion of "ethics" rarely distract him from
his primal principle: pocket every last dollar you can--legally--collect.
Initially, he does not anticipate that a heavyweight mobster will
soon rock his supposedly safe little boat.
Not only "Master of the 'Legal' One-Sided Deal," the enigmatic Draves'
daily sorties to the Far Side additionally embrace his lecherous
(multiple) pursuits of a restaurant hostess, a fashion model, and
even his own secretary. To further compound: as a strong believer
in diversity, he does not restrict himself to these few. The bounds
of his prodigious prurience are stretchable enough to include a
wide assortment of the female gender: anything physially desisrable,
But, inevitably, his ostensibly well-managed lifestyle slips gears.
It manifests an overconfidence which triggers miscalculation and
subsequent grevious error. This, in turn, leads to domino-effect,
It is when he allies with the mobster to construct an ambitious
gambling-Mecca, island-nation off the coast of Florida that the
inadvertent error occurs. He had planned to be finished and out
of his contract before any illegal activities commenced. Failing
this, he stumbles into a series of personal disasters. Then, accelerated
slippage takes place. His morass is further complicated, intensified,
by his unwitting involvement with the mobster's off-limits daughter.
When his lifelong friend, a fired advertising agency executive,
Mark Brightly, becomes embroiled in the mix, he finds his Utopian,
well-ordered life collapsing into self-doubts, soul searching introspection,
While the mobster's daughter stalks Draves in a series of amorous
pursuits, her father's "Enforcer" stalks him with far different
Once on the run, surviving a vicious beating, hiding, he weaves
a pattern of deception supported by threads of lies and deceit to
escape his blossoming nightmare. But, the quicksand-pull of his
own guile sends his reach-for-the-stars ambitions crashing into
a bizarre montage of the unexpected: twists and turns in his relationships,
and careening, out-of-control contortions in his life. These extend
to the most intimate of his relationships, to his wife, Betty, always
carefully shielded from the unsavory realities of his double-life.
Ironically, even through its torrid pace this transparently cacophonous
dissonance re-assembles into a most unusual love story. Clear to
see. Easy to understand.
Cascading misunderstandings and mistrust germinate, proliferate,
and finally come to dominate. They conclude with lies no longer
sounding like the truth...the truth now sounding like lies...as
Draves' story lunges toward its inexporable, hammerlike climax.
With shades of early twentieth century American classic Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby", this novel has every chance of finding a place alongside such classics.
- Bowker's BookWire Review & Books In Print
Six Hours Past Thursday is an entertaining look into the world of greed and sin as seen in 1966.
The Karma message is nicely presented. Dialogue flows easily and the necessary descriptives are well executed.
... a gut-wrenching probe of the psyche. The innerworkings of the devious mind are stripped bare for all to see.
- Lane Stevenson
The Barclay Group
"Death of a Salesman" character Willy Lohman has nothing on Jack Payne's loathsome, womanizing, dirty-dealing protagonist Steve Draves.
From the post-Civil War carpetbaggers to the modern-day Enrons, Global Crossings, and Adelphias, business fraud and other forms of commercial hanky-panky have been exposed in books. But never, until now, do we learn of so many tools, methods, and approaches to making such underhanded dealings legal. To say characterization of flim-flam practitioner, Steve Draves, as a calculating, cunning purveyor of the human mind's worst get-rich-quick appetites is artful would be a most understated way of putting it. Mesmerizing would be a better word.
- George Peterson Former Executive Director, The Institute of Consulting Marketing Engineers, Inc.
Jack Payne has provided us with a very well written novel...
- The Quilldipper
Author Jack Payne has a talent for story-telling; his characters are filled with human foibles and character flaws and his plot takes some interesting twists and turns. A well written, entertaining read that keeps the reader involved until the startling end. Author of fifty-five business books, Jack Payne shines with this, his first novel.
- Shirley Row, All Book Reviews
Mr. Payne's literary talent is immediately impressive...
- Book Reviewers
This is a tale of how not to make a deal, of how to outsmart yourself and proof that the grass on the other side of the fence isn't dollar green. Any thriller fan could find this an enjoyablle read, a walk on the dark side where danger lurks in any shadow. Recommended as a fun read.
- eBook Reviews Weekly
|About the Author
Jack Payne has authored 55 business books--both hardback and peperback--which have racked up total sales of more than 1,100,000 copies. His HOW TO MAKE A FORTUNE IN FINDERS' FEES remained in print 25 years.
Known for his intensity, this is his first novel.