Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Down on the Street by Alec Cizak

In Down on the Street, Alec Cizak tells a truly noir story of a guy living too close to the edge, falling for the wrong woman and winding up in more danger than he ever dreamed.

How does an average Joe – his name is actually Lester – get himself into so much trouble? As Mickey Spillane might answer, “It was easy.”

Getting himself out of trouble becomes nearly impossible in this tense, gritty novel.

Lester is a city cab driver barely making it. He resides in the meanest, crummiest apartment house where there is only one bright spot – at least it is bright to him – Chelsea, a young woman living across the hall. Chelsea is a nasty sexpot who gives Lester a tumble one night, but rejects him the next day. He eats his heart out for her as he witnesses a nightly parade of men tramping in and out of her place.

Neither Lester nor Chelsea can make a go of life until Lester gets the bright idea to go into partnership with her. Their business is the oldest profession, with the ineffectual Lester as her pimp and protector.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Only everything.

Cizak’s novel will raise a reader’s anxiety level into the red zone. His writing makes it impossible to stop reading.

The story of these two people reminded me in many ways of Charles Willeford’s 1955 noir novel, Pick-Up (reviewed here), with a touch of Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.”

Down on the Street, which came out in 2017, is a frightening, nerve jangling tale.


  1. Nice review, Elgin. I have this one on the pile, I ought to bump it up the stacks a bit.

  2. I think you will like this one, Col. It is a gritty catalog of bad decisions that almost had me talking out loud to the book, warning Lester.

  3. I will check out both the book and the author, Elgin. I have a feeling I will enjoy his work. This one definitely appeals to my reading senses.

    1. Prashant – This one definitely has the feeling of the classic noir stories of the 1940s and 1950, only grimier.

  4. Thanks for the kind comments, Elgin. I don't visit my blog as much as I should, so I only now saw your comment there. Hope you enjoy Breaking Glass as well.