Since the night he made an ill-advised decision to commit a pair of revenge killings, Nick has made his living as a professional murderer. Early on, he dispensed with guilt or emotion, but after a routine hit gets messy Nick gets sick—and the conscience he thought he’d killed along with dozens of other marks comes creeping back into his brain. Now Nick’s profession and life are on …the line, and he has begun stalking a perfectly innocent couple to see if he can snuff them out without the slightest hint of remorse…or if the humanity he worked so hard to suppress is making up for lost time.
A dark noir novel about human connection and repentance, Nausea is the story of a sociopathic killer in a war with himself, a war in which the lives of an uninvolved couple hang in the balance.
“Though Nausea is—on its surface—a crime novel, Kurtz’s knack for existential horror imbues it with dreamlike surreality. The end result is a vertiginous trip through a purgatory of his protagonist’s own making, and a redemption tale that will keep you guessing until you turn the final page.” —Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind
“A gritty, hard-edged tale with just the right amount of feeling makes this one hell of a story. All of Ed’s gifts are on display here: fast pacing, memorable characters and brutal action that aren’t easy to forget, but make for great reading.”
—Terrence McCauley, Award Winning Writer of Sympathy for the Devil, Prohibition and Slow Burn
“Ed Kurtz’s Nausea grabs your attention like a cue stick to your eye, a garrote around your throat, and a rock crashing into the back of your head. If you’re looking for that thriller featuring a hit man with a heart of gold, go look somewhere else. Kurtz—and his introspective killer-for-hire Nick—are so good at what they do, it might just make you sick.”
—Tim O’Mara, author of Crooked Numbers and Dead Red
“In Nausea, Ed Kurtz explores whether damned souls can be redeemed. Filled with unspeakable evil, but also glimpses of humanity, Nausea is a poignant and imposing novel.”
—Jon Bassoff, author of Corrosion
THE PAST NOT ONLY HAUNTS. IT HUNTS.
In a small, rural Arkansas town in the midst of World War II, hotel house detective George “Jojo” Walker wearily maintains the status quo in the wake of personal devastation. That status quo is disrupted when a hygiene picture roadshow rolls into town with a controversial program on display and curious motives in mind. What begins with a gruesome and impossible murder soon spirals into hallucinatory waking nightmares for Jojo—nightmares that converge with his reality and dredge up his painful, secret past. Black magic and a terrifying Luciferian carnival boil up to a surreal finale for the town of Litchfield, when truth itself unfurls and Jojo Walker is forced to face his own identity in ways he could never have expected.
ANGEL OF THE ABYSS
When Graham Woodard is hired to restore part of a previously lost silent horror film—Angel of the Abyss—in Los Angeles, the last thing he expects is the first in a series of murders clearly meant to keep it lost. With one-time friend Jake Maitland in tow, the two must now navigate the treacherous enigma that is the lost film Angel of the Abyss, while piecing together the story of the film’s ill-fated starlet, Grace Baron, who vanished in 1926. The closer they get to the truth, the more blood is spilled, and it soon becomes apparent that there is much more to the lost film than anyone expected, as there are still forces that will stop at nothing to keep it and its star buried. The darkness the strange film conjured all those years ago has come alive again with its discovery, and now everyone from Graham’s own estranged ex-wife to the LAPD is getting involved. And the body count is growing.
From the burgeoning film studios of 1920s Hollywood, to the perilous streets and dark underbelly of modern-day Los Angeles, Angel of the Abyss is a dangerous tapestry of cinema, history and murder, at the center of which stand two men with everything to lose.
“Part film noir, part horror, Angel of the Abyss, was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to pick up again the minute I had the time to read. As a classic movie and old Hollywood fan and aficionado, Angel of the Abyss was right up my alley. We tend to think of glamour and decadence when we think of Old Hollywood, but this book shows us that all that glittered back then, wasn’t always gold.” —Tiffany Janibagian, GeekMundo.net
2014, New Pulp Press
It’s 1979 in New York City and Charley McCormick loves the Deuce—42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues—more than anything in the world. He loves the peculiar low-budget movies. He loves the bizarre all-night circus of it all. But when a pretty girl sits beside him at a horror double feature at the Harris and ends up dead before the lights come back on, his scene is turned upside down…and Charley is thrown into whirlwind of murder and betrayal where no one is what they seem. As he winds through a network of sex workers, gangsters, and B movie producers, Charley gets himself in so deeply there is no choice but to unravel what started on the Forty-Two and might very well end in the city morgue.
“A gritty, Grindhouse love letter to my old stomping ground.” —Christa Faust, author of Choke Hold
“Ed Kurtz brings to life the seedy splendor of Times Square at the close of the 1970s like no writer I’ve seen before. The Forty-Two is a crime novel, but underneath all the grit and blood beats the heart of a hardboiled love story.” —Hilary Davidson, author of Blood Always Tells
“I visited in the mid ’80s and caught the last glimpse of the Deuce’s sleazy glory days before it was cleaned up, and what struck me most about The Forty-Two was how vividly Kurtz captured it on the page. You can see it, hear it, smell it. Keep an eye on Ed Kurtz. I think he’s going to do great things.” —Ray Garton, author of Frankenstorm
(Single Shot #3)
2014, Crime Factory
In an impoverished, crime-ridden Texas town called Blackwood, Enoch Ford arrives to work as a railroad brakeman. Fresh out of prison, he befriends a rail man called Doc who finds in Enoch the perfect partner for a simple heist: lifting copper wire off the cars in the middle of the night to fence.
But when Enoch finds human cargo instead, he becomes a de facto guardian and begins a violent revenge odyssey through which he will stop at nothing to protect three Belarusian children.
Souls and lives are at stake. Unfathomable evil has to be dealt with. And there is no one in Blackwood, Texas but a no-account ex-con for the job.
Snubnose Press, 2013
A quiet rancher in Civil War era Texas, Daniel Hays, emerges from an alcohol-soaked haze to find his sole ranch hand (and lover) has been lynched—hanged by party or parties unknown. Left with virtually nothing but his failing ranch, Daniel takes it upon himself to seek out those responsible for his lover’s death, experiencing puzzling new relationships along the way, including repeat encounters with a ghostly coyote that leads him to the final stop on his odyssey for revenge.
“Many Westerns have explored the theme of revenge, but few have done so as provocatively as Ed Kurtz’s A Wind of Knives. And certainly none have approached it in quite the same way. On its surface, this is a familiar story: after his lover is brutally murdered, farmer Daniel Hays seeks revenge. The difference, from the start, is Daniel’s lover is… was… a man. And in Texas during the Civil War, justice for the slaying of a ‘sodomite’ is not a priority for the law.
“But if switching up gender roles in an otherwise traditional Western was all A Wind of Knives offered, it would be thin gruel. Kurtz gives us much more than that—sympathetic characters skillful plotting, and most notably a moving and insightful meditation on love and loyalty.” —Heath Lowrance, author of City of Heretics
“A Wind of Knives dusts off the classic western’s most enduring motifs and gives them a shine. With no lack of gunplay and bloodshed, the book also has heart and intelligence. In short, Kurtz delivers an intense, gritty, and moving story that takes a new look at the Old West.” —Lee Thomas, Bram Stoker Award and Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The German and Ash Street
Evil Jester Press, 2013
Two bad mamas break out of prison – and straight into HELL! Dead Trash is a 70s era grindhouse odyssey that takes two women’s prison inmates, Irma and Arkansas, from the joint to joining up with a biker gang, from high-rise horrors in the projects to a nightmare kung fu showdown at the end of the world.
Thunderstorm Books, 2012
Nightscape Press, 2013
Leon Weissmann is an introverted loner with no control over his life. His only joy is the menagerie of insects, spiders, and scorpions he tends to in his garage. When he acquires an illegally poached rainforest spider, he unknowingly contracts a rare strain of fungus that enables him to control people, to make them do anything he wants. As his power grows, Leon begins to abuse it until there are bodies in his wake and a coterie of brainwashed disciples under his influence. But soon Leon suspects that the thing growing inside his head may be the one with the power…
It wants to come out. To reproduce. It wants to control everyone.