Man On The Run by Charles Salzberg

Man On The Run by Charles Salzberg.

Master burglar Francis Hoyt is on the run. After walking away from his arraignment in a Connecticut courtroom, he’s now a fugitive who has to figure out what he’s going to do with the rest of his life.

And so, he heads west, to Los Angeles, where he meets Dakota, a young true crime podcaster who happens to be doing a series on Hoyt. At the same time, he’s approached by a mysterious attorney who makes Hoyt an offer he can’t refuse: break into a “mob bank,” and liberate the contents.

Praise for MAN ON THE RUN:

…One part heist movie, one part psychological thriller, three parts great character and blend. Salzberg’s superb Man on the Run will keep your head spinning from the first page to the last. By Reed Farrel Coleman

…Smart, sly and compelling, with a fascinating main character—the very definition of intelligent suspense. By Lee Child

…Man on the Run grips you from the opening page and doesn’t let go. The plot will leave you breathless with anticipation as a master burglar and a crime podcaster try to outwit and outmaneuver each other before an outrageous heist. There’s nothing better than smart characters, with smart dialogue, going head-to-head. You won’t want to miss a twist or turn. By Michael Wiley, Shamus Award-winning author of the Sam Kelson mysteries

…Francis Hoyt, Charles Salzberg’s brilliant burglar anti-hero from Second Story Man, is back on the prowl in Man on the Run. Old-school crime meets the podcast age as Hoyt tangles with a true-crime reporter as well as fellow felons and the law. Like his hero, Salzberg is a total pro who always brings it home. By Wallace Stroby, author of Heaven’s a Lie

…Charles Salzberg is a genius at not only crafting a helluva page-turner of a heist novel, but he also manages to make the reader care about Francis Hoyt, master burglar and pathological narcissist. Hoyt is the man on the run, and the story of how he eludes the law, the mob, and a retired cop who has become his personal nemesis packs a solid punch and leaves you rooting for the guy who’d steal your family jewels without breaking a sweat. By James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle World War II mystery series

…When it comes to Charles Salzberg’s work, you can expect a hard-edged story, crisp dialogue, and memorable characters. This is certainly true—and then some!—in his latest, Man on the Run. Featuring master burglar Francis Hoyt, a tough and intelligent criminal who can’t seem to turn down tempting criminal scores, despite the inherent danger, Man on the Run features a true-crime podcast host, a criminal fence, and an investigator hot on the trail of Francis Hoyt as his most challenging and dangerous burglary comes into play. Very much recommended. By Brendan DuBois, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author

…It’s a battle of wits and nerves as a cop, a robber, and a journalist dance around one another, weaving a tapestry of deceit and suspense. Salzberg’s dialogue flows like water until it finds truth in this most entertaining read. By Matt Goldman, New York Times bestselling author

Review by Amazon Customer: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. A highly enjoyable page turner you can’t put down! Mr. Salzberg has done it again with a cat and mouse page turner you simply cannot put down. This follow-up to Second Story Man chronicles the continuing exploits of master burglar Francis Hoyt, a cunning, smart, manipulative thief who does things his way or no way. This time out, he is in LA getting ready to nab a “mob bank” but his world is complicated by a true crime podcaster and Francis’ old nemesis, a detective from Connecticut who wants to nail him for his prior crimes. As their agendas collide, Francis, who is never surprised, gets the surprise of his life and in turn, must react in ways I am sure he ever expected. This is a true battle of wits between the cop, robber and journalist that will leave you breathless in the end!

Review by Elliot Ravetz: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Charles Salzberg’s immersive and suspenseful new novel. If you’ve read any of Charles Salzberg’s previous novels, you know that you’ll get a cast of vividly drawn characters, smart and often darkly funny dialogue, and fast-paced stories that grip you and keep you gripped. This one, which Lee Child calls “Smart, sly and compelling,” involves a duel of wits and determination among three characters, each narrating the tale from their own perspective: the imperious master thief Francis Hoyt, who is planning a high-risk heist; his nemesis, the nimble-witted investigator Charles Floyd (both of them introduced in Salzberg’s enthralling “Second Story Man”); and the ambitious true crime podcaster Dakota Richards, who, using the skills she developed as an investigative journalist, is planning a series of podcasts through which she intends to expose the mysterious Hoyt, as the menacing burglar, who’s also a pathologically secretive control freak, has learned. “Man on the Run” is immersive and super-suspenseful.

Review by Nina C: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. The mastermind burglar you wish you didn’t care about. Definitely a page turner. The only thing missing is the sequel.

Review by Samfreene (VINE VOICE): 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Hoyt at his best. Can you create an image or façade that is false and yet everyone believes what they see? Can you literally walk out of a courtroom before your arraignment and hide in plain sight? Two voices are heard throughout this novel: Francis Hoyt and Dakota. Dakota and Francis speak to us as if we are in the same room. The first scene takes them to an odd place where they meet, he approaches her, and it takes a while before she realizes who he is and that she knows him. Dakota started her own podcast and wants to interview him live on it. Conversations take different turns; she lets us know her innermost thoughts and how she hopes to snag him for the interview. He is dangerous and does not hesitate to let her know not to fool with him. But, in the end you will have botch one won the war of the words, the threats and if he agrees to do the podcast and will she show up?

Going back in time we meet both of them; Dakota lives with her parents and realizes it is time to move on and her mother does try to help but she wants more out of life. School, graduating from an Ivy League college , no name to be stated or divulged, she wants to become a reporter. How she manages to get her first job, why crime and why she does the night shift, enjoying the murders, break ins robberies, and more gives her an adrenal rush. Then after a few years she moves on to another paper, another town and realizes that the internet might be her ticket to getting out there and she now must decide where to go.

Francis Hoyt tells us how he walked out of the courthouse, how he finally feels free and the reasons why he feels he needs to escape. But, even more that is really noteworthy is how and why he stole his first truck, how he felt owning something he did not pay for and how it led to a life of crime. He loves robbing and invading homes and making people fearful. He loves stealing and taking from others because he can. He even teaches us how to deal with getting a new fence, dealing with the old one and enjoying his life of crime. But where will he decide to hold up? Where will he live at least for a while?

Alternating voices and wants and desires as Dakota decide on her calling and that is a podcast dealing with true crime. With the help of friends and hopefully someone to sell ads, she comes up with a name, a focus and takes classes to teach her what she needs to know and the people she needs to support her. Researching topics, she often over thinks which takes us to Francis before we come back to now. The author focuses on Dakota, her staff and her support, the topics for the podcasts, the research and the need for someone to help with the research, the bills, the dialogue and more. Then her prime goal is to get Francis Hoyt on her podcast which ends the chapters with a restless Francis who has not made a score, hit a homer and when he does the take is not that great but he will do better next time.

Dakota meets with him, and you can tell their conversation is like a sparring contest. Hoyt is methodical, he had OCD and it’s his way or no way at all. He is a master burglar, liar, manipulator and more. He even created three ways to complete robbing the mob bank given all the facts he needs, the money half before and half after but you won’t believe the end result.

Told on three voices each one with his or her own agenda and each one using the other for information, an interview or more. Dakota is tough in her own way but when Hoyt breaks into her apartment something snaps in her, and she becomes allied with Charlie, and you won’t believe why? Floyd convinces her to help take down Hoyt, but you believe the plan and is Dakota the decoy? The final scenes are unique as the author creates several unsolved mysteries, places Hoyt, Dakota and Charlie in the same place but in the end you won’t believe what happens. Hoyt learns a hard and fast lesson, deals with the man who put him on the Vince and the job that he was to do. In the end who will get the blame? In the end what about the podcast ? What about her relationship with Mark and with Charlie? What is next for all of them, and will our master burglar find out who was behind his fate? Is there more for Hoyt? A simple letter that he writes. Will she follow his instructions? How will that play with what she wanted to do on her podcast? Lives change and so do perceptions as author Charles Salzberg leaves us with his question: DOES CRIME PAY? DOES TRUE CRIME REALLY INTERST PEOPLE? Is FRANCIS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A MAN ON THE RUN?

Each voice is strong, has his or her own convictions and ideals, but in the end who wins?

Review by Enjoyingbooksagain: 4.0 out of 5 Stars. Crime thriller. My ThoughtsThis story is told from the POV from the criminal and Dakota a young podcaster. There is a lot of twist and turns and secret plans to this story. The characters are all different and interesting. And the ending will surprise you. If you’re a person who enjoys crime thrillers I recommend this, this is my first Charles Salzberg book but will not be my last

Review by Joan N. (VINE VOICE):  4.0 out of 5 Stars. For readers who like mostly character thought.

This is a different kind of mystery. It is mostly character thought with very little action. It is an in depth exploration of the personality of an expert thief. He is the best there is and we are privy to all his planning. He was a difficult character to like. He is not a Robin Hood kind of thief. He has no qualms with setting up a patsy to take the fall for his work. He really doesn’t think very highly of anyone but himself. Besides, he calls himself a dedicated vegetarian when he eats an egg white omelet and fish tacos.

There are two other main characters in the novel and, interestingly enough, we get the thoughts of all three in first person narratives. One is a journalist with a crime podcast and the third is a retired detective who still has catching the matching thief on his back burner. I am not a fan of alternating first person accounts but they were clearly identified and easily understood.

Salzberg is a good writer. Even though I prefer action and dialogue over lots of character thought, this novel kept my interest. I really wanted to know how the whole gig worked out. I have to admit, I was disappointed by the ending.

This is a novel for readers who would like an intense character study of an accomplished thief and an inconclusive ending that begs for a sequel.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Review by Jeannette Sanderson:  5.0 out of 5 Stars. A Real Page-Turner. I didn’t want to put this book down, which is how I ended up staying up until after midnight (which is well past my bedtime) to finish it. I was interested in all of the characters and the plot kept me guessing until the very end. Read the book, but consider yourself forewarned: don’t start it if you have to be up early the next morning.

Product Details:
Paperback: ‎358 Pages
Publisher: ‎Down & Out Books (April 17, 2023)
Language: ‎English
Mysteries (Crime)
Mysteries (Private Investigator)
Thrillers (Organized Crime)

Amazon Print:



About The Author: Charles Salzberg is a novelist, a journalist, and an acclaimed writing instructor.

His new novel, Devil in the Hole, a gripping work of literary crime fiction based on the notorious John List murders, is on shelves now.

He is the author of the Henry Swann detective series: Swann Dives In; Swann’s Last Song, which was nominated for a Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel; and the upcoming Swann’s Lake of Despair.

His non-fiction books include: On A Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place: Baseball’s 10 Worst Teams of the Century; From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, An Oral History of the NBA; and co-author of My Zany Life and Times, by Soupy Sales; Catch Them Being Good; and The Mad Fisherman.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Hunter College, the Writer’s Voice, and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is a Founding Member. He is a consulting editor at the webzine and co-host, with Jonathan Kravetz, of the reading series, Trumpet Fiction, at KGB in New York City.

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.

He also has a short story in the short story anthology ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’, based on Warren Zevon songs and that collection is up for an Anthony Award for Best Anthology, which is given out at Bouchercon, the big crime writers conference which this year is in San Diego on Labor Day weekend 2023.

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