Joe Kozmarski spends most of his waking hours (which include a lot of hours when he should be sleeping) driving around
He would love to spend more time with his eleven-year-old nephew Jason, who lives with him and who depends upon him for safety and shelter but has awakened many mornings to an empty house. Not that Joe wouldn’t prefer to be toasting Eggos and packing a school lunchbox, but it’s hard to be in two places at once, especially when one of those places is the Cook County jail, where you’ve been locked up after killing a police officer, or the backroom of an ironworks where you’ve been bound and stripped of all belongings that won’t incinerate in an industrial furnace.
And Joe would love to keep rehabbing the house that he bought after his divorce. He enjoys the feel of wood in his hands and loves to saw and hammer. But in the first three books of his mystery series, he has yet to pick up a tool of home improvement and when he does eventually pick one up, he’ll undoubtedly use it for the purposes of self defense and the results will be grisly.
He likes nothing more than a home-cooked meal. But he lives on restaurant food (mostly Asian and greasy spoon) and eats home cooking only when he visits his mom, who stuffs him full with pierogi, golabki, and kolachke. His own pots and pans are as neglected as his home-improvement tools.
When he does have a few minutes at home, he rarely watches TV, partly because he prefers to avoid seeing his own face flashing on the screen in news updates on the latest ugly crime to beset
In some future book, I’ll give Joe what he really wants. In an interlude between crimes, he’ll mark out a couple of hours of home time. He’ll clear the tools from the dining room table, turn on Latin jazz, cook something with rice and vegetables and meat and spice, and sit down for dinner with his nephew. Then, his ex-wife Corrine will knock on the front door with a bottle of wine in her hands and romance in her eyes. And ten minutes later his work partner and occasional lover Lucinda will show up with another bottle. And then Corrine’s bedroom eyes will turn murderous and so will Lucinda’s, and just before violence erupts Joe will slip out the door with his nephew, and they’ll drive through