Trouble Breathing by George Masters
At 4 AM, in a San Francisco waterfront diner, Marine war hero Tom Harp is working as a short order cook. The diner is closed and Harp is alone prepping breakfast when Roxanne Zacky, a former beauty queen and troubled socialite walks in. Her face bruised, Roxanne is nervous and frightened. Harp gives her coffee and a couple aspirins and continues working when a car pulls up outside. This is the beginning of the hardboiled crime novel Trouble Breathing by George Masters which throws its hero Tom Harp into a spiral of action-packed events including kidnapping, romance, murder, insanity and dark family secrets. This is classic American noir fiction with echoes of Chandler, Hammett, Cain, and Jim Thompson.
George Masters spent his first nine years in Lima, Peru, came to the States in 1954, and learned to play American football, ice hockey and shovel snow. After high school in New Jersey he joined the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. After the war he attended Georgetown University where he began to write. In order to support his writing George has been a commercial fisherman, construction worker, bartender, waiter, cab driver, a cook (on land and sea), a car salesman and a teacher.
As a stuntman, he played a cop in the film Alligator and was “eaten by the damn beast”.
George lived between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the late seventies and into the nineties. He worked as a co-manager of an apartment house and then a condo on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Several of the characters in Trouble Breathing, Roxanne, Jim Zacky, Doc Lehman, all emerged from that experience.
George is currently working in a liquor store on Hilton Head Island, SC