Three-Fingered Jack Davis is a fast-paced look into the dark world of heroin addicts. Reading this book, I felt like I was on a new roller coaster. I never knew when there was going to be a twist, turn, or loop. Things quickly spiraled out of control after Jesse James met Jack Davis in an alley. D. J. Swykert dumps you immediately into the complex world of heroin drug dens and cartels. Jesse’s life changes quickly after meeting Jack. He went looking for a high and gets in a lot deeper. Will he end up in the grave, in jail, or maybe he gets his life together… It is worth the read to find out.
Truly love how D. J. pulls you into the mind of the addict. I have never been an addict, so I have never considered how they think about their own addiction. Jesse being a physics major and deep thinker gives a lot of interesting perspectives.
“I’m a fun loving person, happy, witty, I had a future. I could stop doping anytime I want. Dope wasn’t my life, just a little recreation. Most dopers believe this. It’s mostly untrue. Not that they can’t stop, but that they ever will. Most dopers will die with narcotics in their bloodstream. There is no cure, it’s not an illness, it’s worse, it’s a habit, and we are creatures of habit. For an illness there is treatment, or you just die, but a habit is more insidious, it’s a continuance, it’s a non-court order that your brain feels compelled to follow.”
This is just one of the many quotes that you go back and reread. Just sit there with the book and think on it for a minute. Take your time and read this book with an open mind.
Meet the Author
D.J. Swykert has 7 books and has been writing for many years. He is a former 911 operator, and wolf expert. He lives in Northern Kentucky, USA.
With this review, I got the privilege to interview the author, D.J. Swykert, about his work and life. Following are my questions and his responses. Hope you all enjoy.
A heroin drug den seems to be an unusual setting for a novel. What inspired you to use this as the base for Three-Fingered Jack Davis?
Back in the early 1980’s these drug “dens” were quite popular. A place you could buy drugs, use them, fly safely until you landed back on earth, joking, but you could cruise there without worry of getting robbed, or worse, picked up by the police. I had a girlfriend at the time whose family were members of the Latin Kings that ran a bunch of these drug houses and we would sometimes frequent them. I used to play backgammon with one of the lieutenants in the Kings, quite a nice guy if you weren’t working undercover or a member of a rival gang. I did some research, the houses are still relevant, and prevalent, in Detroit. When I lived in the city Detroit Homicide used to solve about two third of the homicides, which meant one third of the murders were never solved. I understand now it’s about two thirds that go unsolved.
You have said you are a former 911 operator. Did you enjoy that occupation?
I used to investigate accidents and ran a safety program before getting into 911. Most were routine, but there was the occasional accident with a fatality. I was already writing crime stories before joining the department and thought it would be a gateway to more interesting cases. I did love the job, worked in 911 for a decade. But as far as stories, 911 is largely a peripheral function. I would take the call: “The neighbor’s dog has been barking all night.” I would send a car, it was a quick dispatch, just find the closest car and give out a barking dog complaint. Yes, this is a “light” call, it would not be a priority if you had something more serious to dispatch. But many of the calls are quite routine, and even when they aren’t my participation was in taking the complaint, prioritizing it, then giving it to an officer and move on to the next call on the line. I had a woman that called and said she was going to hang herself. Then she promptly went down her basement and hung herself. There was a lot of interesting events that surrounded her hanging, but my job after the initial dispatch to the officers was over. I would never get further details of the complaint. I did follow up sometimes with the case officer, just to learn the outcome, but mostly after the dispatch that was the end of it.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
An art student girlfriend. I couldn’t draw coca cola through a straw so I tried my hand at writing poems to impress her. The poems were pretty bad, but it led to an interest in writing. The art student is long gone, but I’m still working at writing.
How often do you write? Is it a full time occupation or a hobby?
I try to write a little each day. Almost nobody can earn a living writing novels. Faulkner and Fitzgerald went to Hollywood because nobody bought their novels. Herman Melville wrote for travel magazines, probably sold about thirty copies of Moby Dick in his lifetime.
Who is your favorite author? Favorite genre to read?
Hemingway. I like his writing because it’s straight forward, he doesn’t try to impress you with elegant prose, it’s simplistic, but very powerful. I don’t have a particular “favorite” genre. I have favorite styles of writing, i.e. Hemingway’s.
You write in several different genres. Not many authors do this. How do you manage to switch gears?
I have multiple personality disorder and am bi-polar. And I am JOKING. The truth, there really isn’t as much difference in the emotional core of a sixteen year old girl and a thirty year old man than most people think. They might act out their emotions differently, but we all have the same six basic emotions: anger, happiness, surprise, disgust, sadness and fear. I’m old enough to have gone through most of these life stages, I simply apply how I would feel at the age of my character and the kind of character I want to describe, i.e. temperamental, easy going, pragmatic etc.
Do you have any piece of advice to give to other authors?
Write often, read out loud what you have written and listen to yourself. Does it sound smooth yet authentic? I’d also recommend you find a trade to fall back on when the rent is due, an automobile mechanic or short order cook are good skills to have, you can always find a job quickly and move around at will.
To learn more about D. J. Swykert and check out his other books, you can visit his website.
This book was received for free for review consideration. This post contains affiliate links.