by Michael J. Malone
Betsy Town, the third installment of Michael J. Malone’s Tompkins Trilogy, will be published by Well Lit Books this fall. The follow-up to No Never No More and When I Was Punk, Betsy Town is part three of the loosely connected trio of novels set around Tompkins Square Park on Manhattan’s lively Lower East Side.
Betsy Town splits its time between Alphabet City in New York and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Three decades before the book’s beginning, a distraught woman stared down an approaching train from the tracks in Elizabeth, infant son in her arms. The baby survived. Growing up in foster care when his father could not shoulder the burden, David Campion has managed to mostly hold it together. But recent developments, including his pending wedding, have compelled David to dig into his mother’s past through those who knew her. David is combating his own grave psychological challenges, and is desperate to hide his increasingly bizarre behavior, including his involvement in the kidnapping of a prominent New York athlete, from his fiancée, Gracie, as their wedding day looms.
Darkly humorous and slyly inspiring, Betsy Town captures both the colorful characters in New York’s Alphabet City, including an aging neighborhood radical and a neglected young boy living in the apartment above David and Gracie, and the scruffy city across the Hudson where David was born and raised. Betsy Town depicts one man’s struggle for psychological wholeness, and a couple’s efforts to overcome the considerable perils that threaten their partnership.
John Roche, author of the novel Bronx Bound said of Betsy Town:
“From the first page to the very last, readers feel as though there’s a speeding train heading right for us as we accompany David Campion on his complicated quest for sanity, happiness and wholeness. Michael J. Malone’s gift for dark humor makes this madcap journey even more worth the ride.”