KNUCKLEBALL (a novella)

Hugh Patterson is an old-school cop and die-hard Giants fan rooted in the San Francisco Mission District. When he’s struck down in the line of duty, the whole city is aghast. But Oscar Flores, a 15-year old Latino boy obsessed with baseball, witnesses the gruesome crime and has a plan to assuage the city’s grief and satisfy his own vision of justice. Against the backdrop of a weekend long series with the Dodgers, the gripping crime story plays out against the city s brightest monuments and darkest alleys.


Knuckleball is a bruiser of a story that reads as fast as the title implies, and sits heavy in your mind long after you’ve read the last page. Pitts obviously knows the darkness of his city’s gangland and portrayed here against the light of America’s favorite pastime, while showing both sides their proper respect, is nothing short of remarkable. It’s classic good and evil, hope and despair, but with Pitts, nothing is ever that cut and dry, and rarely does anyone get away clean. Conversational prose, brilliant ensemble casts, ratcheting tension, and the hint of something unexpected right over the next page is the reason to read Tom Pitts in the first place, but with Knuckleball, I’d say he knocked it out of the park. Top notch.”

—Brian Panowich, author of BULL MOUNTAIN

“In Knuckleball, Tom Pitts finds the beating heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, then reaches into its chest and rips that heart out. An ambitious and tightly-packed slice of modern crime fiction.”

—Jordan Harper, author of Love and Other Wounds

“A gut-punch of a story written at a blistering pace by a master of street noir. If you dig tales with wire-tight tension, stuffed with characters that massage the margins of life then pick up Mr. Pitts latest work.”

— Mike McCrary, author of REMO WENT ROGUE and GETTING UGLY

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