While there is plenty of humor in this book, it’s not the first thing that jumps out, what really is Schrecks’s strong suit is his characters. The folks who populate this book are people you probably know. The crowd he spends time with while drinking Schlitz and unwinding are people I swear I’ve met. And I’ve had bosses like his. The layers of the story propel it forward to a wonderful climax. Between his boxing and social work Duffy has a full plate, and with the search for the missing girl it makes for some very fun sub plots through the story. A great teller of tales I think Schreck will be a name people will know for quite some time to come.
In the boxing match of life I want Duffy Dombrowski as my ring man. This is one hell of a debut novel and Schreck can count me as a fan from this point forward. On the Ropes is easily one of the best five books I’ve read this year.
–Jon Jordan, editor, Crimespree
Schreck is a major new talent, and Duffy has my vote for the best new character in mystery fiction. Laugh out-loud without sacrificing thrills, loaded with suspense, charm, and heart, On the Ropes is one of the best debuts of this, or any, year. The ending had me standing up and cheering. No BS. You will love this book.
–JA Konrath, author of Dirty Martini and The Jack Daniels series
An Everyman with a big heart and a wicked jab, Duffy Dombrowski may well be the new Spenser. I can’t wait for Round Two.
–Marcus Sakey, author of The Blade Itself, A New York Times Editor’s Pick
If you like underdogs, colorful characters, a fighter who never quits and a canine with more bite and heart than Jake LaMotta—then you’ll find On the Ropes a unanimous winner.
–Teddy Atlas, ESPN Boxing Analyst
On the Ropes is sly, funny, irreverent, and one hell of a good time. Read it or be sorry you didn’t. It’s just that simple.
–Laurien Berenson, Author of Hounded to Death
Tom Schreck’s first novel is as much fun as anything I’ve read in recent memory. Duffy Dombrowski is the kind of character you can’t help but root for, and if the ridiculous repartee of the regulars at the bar doesn’t win you over, the Elvis songs, the sex addicts, and Allah King, the world’s only Muslim basset hound, certainly will. If you’ve ever despised your boss, spit in the face of bureaucratic bullshit, or secretly wanted to save the world, On The Ropes is a novel you’ll devour.
–Steve Farhood, Showtime Boxing
The funniest book I have read in a long time is On The Ropes. In his debut novel, author Tom Schreck tells the story of a dedicated social worker with the unlikely name of Duffy Dombrowski, a part time pugilist and aspiring detective who rescues a basset hound, saves a young girl from a, “fate worse than death”, uncovers a terrorist network, and manages to keep his job despite the machinations of his boss, Claudia Michelin. After I read this book (in two days), I realized that I had been laughing out loud and entertained for several hours. Then I called friends to tell them about the amazing author who told so many jokes and spun such an incredible yarn, that they just had to read it. This is a genuine, “good read”, and would make a great movie. I’ll be looking forward to Tom Schreck’s next book, TKO Round Two. Round one, On the Ropes, is a hard act to follow.
–Harold Lederman, HBO Boxing
Duffy Dumbrowski-a loose-cannon social worker and a boxer-has a lot more heart than is healthy for a guy. Give him an orphaned sidekick who hasn’t been housebroken (literally), jam them into the middle of a sinister murder plot that packs a surprising wallop, and you’ve got a winning combination.
–Lee Charles Kelley, Author of Like a Dog With a Bone
What a fun read from one of my favorite writers. Can’t wait for Duffy’s next adventure.
–Nancy Claus, Westchester Magazine
Get ready to rumble with lovable losers, misguided misfits and a disgustingly adorable dog. Ten pages in, you’re hooked and there’s no turning back as you take this ride with Duffy Dombrowski, part time pugilist/full time, paperwork hating, social worker with a conscience, who’s love life is like his luck–occasionally good, but, usually poor. It’s well worth the trip!
–Michael Buffer, Boxing Announcer