Charlie Floyd

Created by Charles Salzberg

At the ripe old age of forty-nine, CHARLIE FLOYD retired from the Connecticut attorney general’s office, tired of the politics and the bullshit. He left with a solid rep as an excellent, if occasionally pig-headed investigator, but for now, he’s content, sitting in his recliner, pondering what to do with the rest of his life. His precious recliner time is interrupted, however, when an old colleague, Manny Perez, a Cuban-American Miami police detective, calls him up, to ask a favour in Charles Salzberg’s Shamus-nominated standalone Second Story Man (2018).

Seems Manny’s been banging his head against the wall, trying to get the goods on the notorious Francis Hoyt, an almost legendary professional thief (the “second story man” of the title) who specializes in ripping off high-end goods, and prides himself on breaking into allegedly impenetrable homes. Hoyt has spent a few days in jail here and there in prison, but only on vaguely related, minor charges — he’s never been caught in the act, and it’s driving Manny nuts. So he’s called on Charlie, asking for his help, fully aware that winter is coming and that Hoyt will be following the snowbirds (and their valuables) south to Florida.

And so begins a sophisticated three-way game of cat-and-mouse, told in alternating chapters by Floyd, Hoyt and Perez, none of whom is getting any younger and all of whom, in one way or another, are looking for that elusive “last big score.”

The author is a novelist, a journalist, and writing instructor, whose works include the Henry Swann detective series, several non-fiction books involving sports, including On A Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place: Baseball’s 10 Worst Teams of the Century and From Set Shot to Slam Dunk: An Oral History of the NBA; and the co-author of Soupy Sales’ My Zany Life and Times. His freelance work has appeared in such publications as Esquire, New York Magazine, GQ, Elle, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times Arts and Leisure section, The New York Times Book Review, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review.


  • Second Story Man is a down and dirty game of cat and mouse, only this time there are two cats and the mouse hasn’t yet seen the trap that can touch him. Are two cats better than one? Read it and see.”
    — Reed Farrel Coleman
  • “Salzberg is a superb wordsmith, with an honest ear for dialogue, and a delight in plot twists. If you’re not already a Salzberg fan, read this book; you will become one.”
    — Michael Sears
  • “Terrific. And the riveting Second Story Man is also a master class in voice and dialogue and storytelling. This caper about three men—two cops and a burglar—reinventing themselves for the second stories of their lives is unique, textured and even hilarious. Charles Salzberg has perfected the existential crime novel—and this one will break your heart.”
    — Hank Phillippi Ryan


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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