The Science of Paul
Aaron Philip Clark, author
Ex-convict Paul Little has just walked out on the only woman who has ever loved him to return to a life of crime in Philadelphia. But when Paul gets involved with a petty thug who is later murdered, he finds himself pinned between the volatile gangster accused of the crime and the straight-laced detective who put Paul away years ago. Realizing the city may be the death of him, Paul looks to escape to North Carolina and live alone on a farm left to him by his recently deceased grandfather. Can Paul survive long enough to make it to the succor of the farm? Will he inevitably return to a life behind bars? Or is it his fate to die a victim in Philadelphia? The Science of Paul is a stunning tale of redemption and self-exploration, as one man navigates the precariousness of the streets and the inner workings of his mind.
Fans of gritty, uncompromising noir will welcome Clark’s promising debut, set on the mean streets of Philadelphia, “a blue-collar town, with a blue-collar way of killing you.” Paul Little, an ex-con who killed a mother and her son while driving drunk, has been fortunate enough to find a woman who loves him in Tammy Delgado. But in the wake of the death of the grandfather who reared him, and with his term of probation about to end, Paul decides to move on, convinced that he’s not good enough for Tammy. Almost broke, Paul is tempted to make some easy money from businessman Harlin Washington, who offers him a job. When his decision to earn $1,000 from delivering a package for Washington leads to tragedy, Paul again considers himself a blight on others’ lives. Though the contours of the plot—including betrayals, corruption, and more bloodshed—are familiar, Clark makes the darkness of the City of Brotherly Love palpable and his wounded, Hume-reading lead plausible. (BookLife)