Payback - Tales of Love, Hate and Revenge by Steve Bassett

Nazi-loving American fascists, a revenge driven madman haunted by what he saw at Dachau, three murders and rogue cops intertwine in this noir thriller.

Payback - tales of love, hate and revenge

PAYBACK-TALES OF LOVE, HATE AND REVENGE, the sequel to “Father Divine’s Bikes,” the first book of the Passaic River Trilogy, a historical noir thriller that has collected more than it's fair share of four and five star reviews:

“…corporate greed, sexual dalliances, a marriage on the ropes, child abuse, gangsters, mind control, a mysterious madman, and a corrupt church – and you end up with an INTENSE drama that will keep you reading well into the night.”  Sheri Hoyt, Managing Editor, Reader Views

“…a haunting mystery novel about love, hate, and revenge….Payback is a classically styled detective novel that contains messages about healing wide and open wounds.”  Clarion Foreword Review Rating: 4 out of 5; Reviewed by Benjamin Welton

“….it must be said that Payback is right up there as far as professional and serious writing goes. Steve is an author of quality, no doubt, and this is an extraordinarily well-written, intelligent and highly thoughtful book.”  Matt McAvoy Book Reviews

In 1946, across the country millions were dealing with the loss of loved ones, and horrible memories were being buried for the greater good. But not in Newark.

Two mutilated bodies were pulled from the putrid Passaic River, and the sawed-off arm of a third man was found neatly wrapped and tied at the city dump. The three victims were members of the German-American Bund, Hitler lovers who had to pay the price for supporting a madman. Someone was sending a message that only revenge could clear the mind and free the soul.

It didn’t take long for Nick Cisco and his partner, Kevin McClosky, two veteran homicide cops, to realize they were in over their heads as they grappled with ambition, greed, racial tension, international intrigue, and a powerful church on the take. Three gruesome murders could not have come at a worse time for Cisco. His wife, Connie, had left him, and his close-knit Catholic family had disowned him because of his affair with his lover, Grace.


Adding to the chaos of Cisco’s life, he learned that he could have another homicide on his plate. Father Terry Nolan cornered Cisco at the city morgue and demanded his help. The senior counsel for M.L. Kraus, manufacturer of the poisonous gas Zyklon B, and his German wife were severely beating a Catholic orphan they were seeking to adopt. The Archdiocese had weighed Kraus’ huge cash contributions against a helpless girl’s plight and did nothing.

Kraus, facing a host of war crime indictments in Germany, was fighting for its massive pre-war chemical holdings in New Jersey. A federal court in Newark would soon decide Kraus’ fate. The outcome of the case would have a bearing not only on Kraus’ future, but Europe’s as well. Watching it all from the banks of the Passaic River was the dark specter of a murderous madman seeking further revenge.

Genre: FICTION / Noir

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / International Mystery & Crime

Language: English

Keywords: murder, rogue cops, death camp revenge, adultery entrapment, homeless wartime orphan, Nazi poison gas, gruesome revenge, corrupt Catholi church, Nazi concentration camps Dachau, racial turmoil

Word Count: 107,000

Sales info:

Payback has won several literary awards such as:

2020 Elite Choice Award Winner Noir Fiction; 2020 Reader Views Literary Award First Place Mystery/Thriller; 2020 American Fiction Award Winner General Fiction; 2020 Reader’s Favorites Silver Medal Winner Fiction-Crime; 2020 Notable 100 Book in the Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition; 2020 International Book Award Finalist General Fiction; 2020 American Fiction Award Finalist Mystery/Thriller Multicultural & Diversity; 2020 Royal Dragonfly Certificate of Excellence in Literature: Honorable Mention Fiction-Novel

Sample text:

It was early Sunday, October 20, when acting homicide chief Lieutenant Nick Cisco padded his way to the kitchen to prepare another lonely breakfast when the telephone rang. His partner, Detective Sergeant Kevin McClosky, got right to the point.

“We’ve got another one,” McClosky said. “At least part of one.”

“What in the hell are you talking about?” Cisco said, knowing fully what it was all about. “I’m listening, but goddamn it’s Sunday morning. Couldn’t it have waited until I had a cup of coffee?”

“Nope. No way. The Third Precinct got the call from a watchman at the city dump,” McClosky said. “Whatever happened and where it happened still don’t know. Only that it was early yesterday afternoon.”

“Do we have a stiff or don’t we?”

“Well, yeah, at least part of one,” McClosky said. “It’s definitely connected to the two floaters we’ve been keeping under wraps.”

Cisco took a deep breath, slowing everything down. “What the hell do we have? Give it all to me now.”

“A couple of uniforms answered the call from the watchman. They got there just as the rats were sitting down for lunch. That’s all there was, a sawed-off right arm. Here’s the connection. Just like our two floaters, there was the same tattooed swastika and inscription, only this one said, ‘Camp Siegfried 1938.’”

“Camp Siegfried? Where the hell is Camp Siegfried?” Cisco said. “We know about the other two. They were right here in Jersey."

“And there’s the ring, exactly the same as the two floaters,” McClosky said. “It all fits. What do we do now?”

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Translation in progress. Translated by Tiphaine Soyez
Already translated. Translated by Petra C. Rieker
Author review:
Good, thorough job. Diligent and communicated regularly.
Already translated. Translated by Paola Merlotti
Already translated. Translated by Juliana Franco
Already translated. Translated by Guillermo Barrera Gómez
Author review:
I could not have asked for more from Guillermo. He was eager and enthusiastic, despite being hit hard by Covid19. He has committed to translate the other two books of my trilogy. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking an English to Spanish translation.

Would you like to translate this book? Make an offer to the Rights Holder!