A man wakes to find himself below ground in the abandoned subway stations of New York City. He has no idea how he got there, no idea who he is. In his pocket he finds only a wad of blood-stained cash and a deck of playing cards.
Once above ground, he rents out a cheap apartment, previously occupied by an enigmatic artist named Max Leider who’d left most everything behind—books, clothes, personal letters. But most peculiar are a series of paintings, each one of a mysterious woman hidden behind a curtain.
Without an identity of his own, the man becomes fascinated with Leider. He begins wearing his clothes. He begins painting on his canvases. He begins taking on his obsessions. But as his persona fully transforms into Max Leider, he will find some horrifying truths about the artist…and himself.
“Jon Bassoff’s The Blade This Time is a nightmarish descent into the underbelly of New York City and the darkest corners of the psyche. A gritty, disorienting ride.” —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts
“The Blade This Time a dark masterpiece of classic horror. Bassoff blends art, insanity, violence, and obsession into a haunting nightmare that you don’t want to stop. Truly, Bassoff at his best.” —C.J. Howell, author of The Last of the Smoking Bartenders
“Jon Bassoff’s latest full-length piece of noir, The Blade This Time, transports you into the bowels of urban, subterranean, humankind. Literally. A riveting, tightly woven masterpiece of hard-boiled loneliness, I was held mesmerized by it. Part Charlie Huston, part Henry Miller with a sprinkling of Bukowski, this is a novel you will not want to miss.” —Vincent Zandri, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Remains and Orchard Grove.
“Dark and disturbing, a guided tour through one man’s private hell. You can feel the pain, touch the grime, and smell the decay. I burned right through it, tripping on the feverish story arc, and came out the other side more than a little uneasy.” —Tim Curran, author of Doll Face
“The Blade This Time is the book David Goodis would have written if he’d taken WAY too much mescaline one weekend and holed himself up in an abandoned Port Richmond movie theater and hallucinated straight into his typewriter. Brilliantly demented. —Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest
“Creepy, intriguing, compelling and well-crafted, Bassoff’s novel is the kind of thing you didn’t realize you were looking for until you’re already up to your neck in it. And by then you’re hooked.” —Victor Gischler, author of The Deputy