Hot off the presses! DOUBLE TAKE by Abby Bardi is
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Author: Abby Bardi
Publisher: Harper Collins Impulse
Genre: Mystery/Women’s Fiction
Set in Chicago, 1975, Double
Takeis the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with
no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When
she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into
their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To
find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s
adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her
old self, and danger.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
his voice from across the room. When I handed him a menu, he looked up
absent-mindedly and went on talking to some guys, then did a double take.
I tried on
the name like an old article of clothing to see if it still fit. It felt like a
suede fringed jacket. “Yep,” I said.
look so different.”
“I cut my
exactly the same,” I said. He was wearing a beat-up leather jacket over a green
T-shirt, maybe the same jacket and T-shirt he had always worn. His thick black
hair was shorter now and curly, skin still tan from summer, small mouth with
perfect teeth. He still looked tough and handsome, but in a creepy way, like
someone you couldn’t trust.
the hell are you doing here?”
“I work here.
I’d rather you didn’t call me that. My name is Rachel.”
your name was Cookie.”
people still call you Rat?”
“Nowadays I go by Joey.”
I said, since this was nowadays.
voice called from a nearby table. The voice brought me back to where I was
standing, in Diana’s Grotto, a Greek diner on 57th Street, with ten
tables full of customers. For a moment, I had thought I was in Casa Sanchez.
It took me a
while to make it back to Joey’s table. A divinity student had found a fly in
his milkshake, and it wouldn’t have taken so long if I hadn’t made the mistake
of saying, “So, how much can a fly drink?” Like most academics, this guy had no
sense of humor and gave me a lecture on hygiene. It was amazing that knowing as
much about hygiene as he seemed to, he would continue to eat at Diana’s Grotto.
By the time I got back to Joey’s table, the men he had been sitting with were
gone. Off-duty police, from the looks of them, I thought, or plain-clothes. We
got a lot of cops in Diana’s; they slumped on stools at the counter with their
guns hanging from their belts, sucking down free coffee. Back in the sixties,
the sight of their blue leather jackets had always made me nervous, like I’d
committed some crime I’d forgotten about.
“So why are
you working here?” Joey asked. “I thought you were a college girl. A co-ed.” He
flashed his white teeth. “I don’t mean to be nosy.”
with college is they make you leave when you finish.”
“And here I thought
it was a permanent gig.”
aren’t you doing something a little more—”
Don’t ask.” I slid into the booth next to him. From across the room, Nicky, the
maître d’, shot me a poisonous glance. I ignored him. “I like it here.” I
smiled a crazy little smile.
different strokes.” His eyes swept the room, resting on a mural of a white
windmill on an island in the Aegean. The
windmill’s blades were crooked. I remembered this eye-sweep from Casa Sanchez,
where he had always sat facing the door so he could constantly scan the whole
restaurant. His eyes returned to me. “Didn’t I hear a rumor you were supposed
to be getting married? Some guy in California?”
rumor. Glad to hear the grapevine still works.”
someone hiss into my ear. Nicky had slunk up behind me. He looked like a garden
gnome in a plaid jacket and baggy pants, reeking of aftershave that had tried
and failed. “Rose!” he snapped. He never called anyone by their right name.
“What’s in a name?” I always murmured.
with you.” I gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile.
“This is a
classy place,” Joey said as Nicky ambled away.
“There is no
Diana. She’s a mythological figure.”
want to have a drink after work?”
don’t drink any more.”
“You want to
come watch me drink? What time do you get off?”
“Nine thirty. You could come help me fill the ketchups.”
take the empty Heinz bottles and pour cheap generic ketchup in them.”
fun, but why don’t you meet me at Bert’s? Back room?”
I thought for
a moment. This did not seem like a good idea, but I didn’t care. “Okay, why
not. So, can I get you anything?”
“You want a
side of taramasalata with it? It’s made from fish roe.”
brought him his coffee, he said, “You’re still a hell of a waitress, Cookie.”
a hell of a waitress, Rachel.”
About the Author
Abby Bardi is the author of the novels The Book of Fred,
The Secret Letters, and Double Take. Her short fiction has
appeared in Quarterly West, Rosebud, Monkeybicycle,
and in the anthologies High Infidelity, Grace and Gravity, and Reader,
I Murdered Him, and her short story “Abu the Water Carrier” was the winner
of The Bellingham Review’s 2016
Tobias Wolff award for fiction. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D.
in English from the University of Maryland
and teaches writing and literature in the Washington,
DC, area. She lives in Ellicott
City, Maryland, the oldest
railroad depot in America.
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