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Roachkiller and Other Stories [Kindle Edition]

R. Narvaez
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

Winner of the 2013 Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology/Short Story Collection and the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Best eBook/Fiction!

From R. Narvaez, a board member of the Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, and exciting new voice in noir . . .

“If there is any justice in the world, [R. Narvaez] should become a giant on the literary noir scene within the next couple of years.”
—Anthony Neil Smith, author of Yellow Medicine, on the story “Roachkiller”

"'Roachkiller" is an accomplished debut from an author in full and firm control of his voice. Narvaez is definitely a name to watch."
—Eva Dolan, Crime Factory

A pregnant single mother who becomes a numbers runner in 1970s Brooklyn; an ex-con fighting against insurmountable odds not to kill again; a middle-aged tax lawyer who’s discovered the secret to happiness—at any cost: these are just a few of the hard-luck characters you’ll meet in Roachkiller and Other Stories, the debut collection of short stories from exciting noir writer R. Narvaez. Included are 10 hard-boiled tales, many with a dash of dark humor. Get-rich schemes gone violently awry. A slacker detective far out of his depth. A reformed criminal who can’t get past his killer instincts. The action moves from Brooklyn to Puerto Rico, from the ’70s to the near future, from deadly divorces to homicidal hipsters. Narvaez travels down the dimly lit side streets of noir you’ve never seen before.


In the Kitchen with Johnny Albino
Santa’s Little Helper
Ibarra Goes Down
Watching the Iguanas
Rough Night in Toronto

“Juracán” is also available as an ebook single under the title “Hurricane”!

“Plenty of good surprises [in this book]: R. Narvaez in ‘Juracán’ tells a story set in Puerto Rico among the legends of the Tainos, stolen artifacts, double- and triple-crosses, uneasy justice.”
—Manuel Ramos, author of King of the Chicanos, on the collection Indian Country Noir

“Hilarious and memorable.”
—Kirkus Reviews, on the story “Hating Holly Hernandez” in the collection You Don’t Have a Clue

"Hardboiled prose, noir sensibility, and all very effective. Check it out."
—Bill Crider, author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series

Author Bio

Nuyorican writer R. Narvaez was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His fiction has been published in Mississippi Review, Murdaland, Street Magazine, Thrilling Detective, Indian Country Noir, Long Island Noir, Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens. His short story "Roachkiller" was selected as a Distinguished Mystery Story in Best American Mystery Stories 2008, edited by George Pelecanos. He blogs at Nuyorican Obituary.

Product Details

  • File Size: 338 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (March 26, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007P6L8J4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129,718 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Narvaez, A Voice for the Ages March 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The world familiar with Narvaez has long awaited the day when he would burst forth in prose. His poetry is the stuff of legend, but Roachkiller and Other Stories is surely the writer in full stride and at the full breadth of his abilities. Not to be outdone, in any measure by the likes of Chandler, Grisham or even Poe himself, Narvaez at his best makes them bow in veneration to his transcendent gifts to tell a tale in the most colorful and gripping language. It is only for one to try and recover from one incredible tale to the next. I applaud Narvaez and am certain that, in years to come, this collection, Roachkiller and Other Stories will be seen as the defining moment of a major and treasured storyteller.
Daniel Thomas Moran
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner! April 24, 2012
By judibat
Format:Kindle Edition
For fans of noir or for anyone who appreciates well-crafted stories, this collection is dynamite. Some are nice violent noir, others are quite moving. R. Narvaez has a true talent for drawing the reader deep into his dark tales. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fasten Your Seatbelts April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
R. Narvaez sure knows his stuff. This collection of beefy, bare-knuckled noir stories is a haunting page turner. A word of warning, though: don't start reading this book too late in the evening... as you'll probably stay up all night finishing every last gripping tale.

Stand aside Hammett, Ellroy, and Chandler: There's a new kid in town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roachkiller kills - Stories with a twist July 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughy enjoyed all the short stories in Roachkiller. Narvaez's sardonic wit and talent is evident in each tale. His Latino background serves him well in his writing and he uses it to give each story an authentic feel. I especially enjoyed the many twists and turns as the downtrodden try to improve their lot only to find their efforts have gone awry. The suprise endings brought a smile to my face. He veers off in a couple of the latter stories writing science fiction, one of which people in Reno now own ocean front property. His take on a post apocalyptic future is both interesting and amusing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic July 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved all of the stories in this work. It's only a matter of time before Richie begins to get the recognition that his talent deserves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Prose that I couldn't Put Down February 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My TBR pile is so high that I rarely read anything twice, but I re-read quite a bit of this excellent collection of short stories. I found the writing to be so beautiful and poignant that it was a painful effort to move past the end of one story to start reading another..

Few authors have a natural gift for reaching into my gut and pulling me into the story, but that was certainly the case here. The poetic aspects of this collection are so subtle that I lost myself in the pages trying to pin down the formula for the author's success.

I think a big part of it is the dialogue, which is stripped down and realistic. That goes a long way in getting me to keep turning the pages. You're never weighted down by extraneous detail, but neither are you left out on a limb trying to decipher who said what.

The stories themselves were original and entertaining. When I came to the couple of science fiction stories near the end, I wasn't sure that I would continue because it's generally not my favorite kind of story. But again, the narrative and dialogue were so incredibly good that I found myself enjoying those as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters, a Humorous Touch December 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I was reading this collection, I was struck by the great variety Richie Narvaez presents. He's a writer of admirable range, altering tone, approach, and structure from story to story. A common thread here of course is crime, and the stories do resonate with the spirit of noir, but Narvaez is not someone who uses genre predictably. All the people in these tales have a humanity you can feel. There's nothing glib or wise-guyish in the writing. That's not to say that the stories don't have humor, because they do, often with a satirical edge, but it's a humor that comes unforced from the characters - people with believable quirks and outlooks. Narvaez grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and he knows the area cold, how it's changed over the years, old-time neighborhood people mixing now with irritating hipsters. The story "Juracan" is set in Puerto Rico, and the island as it appears to a Bronx-born Puerto Rican guy is rendered with wonderful nuance. The protagonists in this collection run the gamut from Puerto Rican mothers to delivery truck drivers to hardened ex-convicts, and Narvaez knows them all equally well. I bought every single one of his characters. Most of the stories are contemporary, but towards the end of the collection we even get a couple of futuristic tales with a sci-fi quality. Technology may have changed, but the world is still a hard place to get by in and people are the same as ever, with the same yearnings, the same desires and foibles, the never ending need for love. Narvaez's stories are tough but understanding, and somehow, no matter how grim the actual goings on, they're delivered with a light touch. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading whatever the author comes out with next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A distinct voice July 28, 2013
By Patrick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Violence, empathy and humor -- an unusual but winning combination in this collection of stories. Crime and noir books are so often engineered and formulaic, but Narvaez writes from character and social context, putting the reader effortlessly inside the real lives of real people. Together, the stories present a vivid quilt of the latino-American world. An easy-to-read collection that will stay with you, despite the apparent lightness. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Painkillers and other stories
Too many bad words. DID NOT CARE FOR IT.

Would not recommend it. Maybe meant for younger male readers not for older people.
Published 20 months ago by Unknown
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK varied assortment of tales
These 10 stories offer quite an assortment - several seem as if R. Narvaez tried to hard for a surprise ending; several are fantasy tales; one, is a variation of Ambrose Bierce's... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bill Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and smart
I really enjoyed these noir stories, they are fresh and exhilarating and give a wonderful twist on the Puerto Rican/New York experience. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Abby Silvernale
5.0 out of 5 stars Richie and Roachkiller: What a Combo!
Richie Narvaez is an amazing writer! When I first read his short story "Roachkiller," I knew I had to have him contribute to the anthology Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery. Read more
Published 23 months ago by NYC Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent crime stories
A really good bunch of short stories, starting strongly with In the Kitchen with Johnny Albino and ending bizarrely with Zinger. Read more
Published on February 17, 2013 by Hannibal the Carthaginian
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-modern Noir with a touch of Dystopia
As more and more noir creeps into my own writing, I have decided to explore some of the classic, best, and brand new voices in the genre. Read more
Published on September 14, 2012 by cterlson
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem Noir
Dark, surprising, humorous, compassionate short stories with lots of page turning surprises. Narvaez knows what he's doing and he does it well. Read more
Published on September 10, 2012 by William B. Keating
5.0 out of 5 stars Roachkiller
I too am a fan of short stories - but I thought this guy was a poet ???
A wonderfully sick and detailed mind ( in a good, writerly way )
Narvaez keeps you guessing - a... Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by Stephanie D. Rivera
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More About the Author

R. Narvaez was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His literary and crime fiction have been published in Mississippi Review, Murdaland, Plots with Guns, Thrilling Detective, Indian Country Noir, Long Island Noir, Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, and You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens. His first collection of short stories is Roachkiller and Other Stories.


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