Book Release: Hell of a Mess by Nick Kolakowski

We a please to announce the release of Hell of a Mess by Nick Kolakowski. In 2017, Nick introduced Fiona and Bill with A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps to readers, and quickly followed up with Slaughterhouse Blues and Main Bad Guy in 2018 and 2019. Two years later the series collected (and remastered with fantastic new material) in the 400+ page Love & Bullets: Megabomb Edition. And that was the trilogy…

But you can’t keep good characters contained, and I’m personally thrilled we get see the story continue. Get your raincoat, put on your goulashes, and batten down for a Hell of a Mess.

What to Expect inside…

The heist should have been a simple one: infiltrate the top floor of a luxury New York City penthouse, steal a server with compromising data from under the noses of the unsuspecting guards, and slip back out. Fiona, master thief and occasional assassin, has pulled off similar jobs dozens of times. But with a massive hurricane bearing down on the East Coast, the timing is tight and the escape routes are limited—and that’s before she discovers something horrific in the penthouse’s master bedroom.

Now Fiona’s on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of rising floodwaters and an army of hired assassins. Her husband Bill, the finest hustler between Florida and Maine, can’t help her: he’s been kidnapped by a group of dirty cops who want the secret millions left by his former employer. The night will take the two of them from the heights of money and power in Lower Manhattan to a haunted island in the East River where no secrets stay buried forever.

It’s going to be one hell of a night… and one hell of a mess.

What folks say about Love & Bullets

“Nick Kolakowski takes us on another incredibly visceral and vivacious ride among the lowlife and the lovers that populate his unique imagination. Love and Bullets is vintage Nick . Funny , fast paced and just tinged with just enough darkness to make you afraid for his characters. Not to be missed!”
S.A. Cosby NYT’s bestselling author of Razorblade Tears

“Ruthless, off-the-wall and surprisingly heartfelt, A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps is much more than a heist book, and showcases the skills of an emerging writer in Nick Kolakowski. Saps is the kind of book you read fast and revisit immediately to savor the experience again.”
Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity

“Dark, bleak and in-your-face, take-no-prisoners prose, everything you want in crime fiction.”
Frank Bill, author of Donnybrook

A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps is a hell of a yarn that sets the stage for what should be an essential series for fans of the genre.”
Angel Luis Colón, author of No Happy Endings

A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps is a hell of a ride. Whatever the outcome, Kolakowski’s fabulous writing shines and the twists and turns will keep you reading to the very last page. A wonderful, entertaining read.”
Jen Conley, author of Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry

“It’s no surprise that Nick Kolakowski brought the heat with his latest novel. His stripped-down, hard-boiled prose, the explosive dialogue, or the wickedly insane and diabolical humor. Grab hold of this one with both hands and hold on tight.”
Eryk Pruitt, author of What We Reckon

Get the MEGABOMB edition

About the Author

Nick Kolakowski’s writing has appeared in Shotgun Honey, McSweeney’s Internet TendencyThuglitThe North American ReviewSpinetingler MagazinePlots with Guns, and various anthologies. He lives and writes in New York City.

Visit his website at


Nestled in the foothills of West Virginia, Ron Earl Phillips lives with his wife, a daughter, a German Shepherd, and one too many cats.