Charles A. Turek
In my own words: I had been trying to write a novel since I was in my late teens, but finally completed an adventure thriller in the late 1970s. When print-on-demand started, I published it and followed it with two novels. On a challenge, I started a noir mystery thriller in digital format, and have happily carried the detective character through two additional novels and two short stories; with a fantasy, memoir, and more thrillers to come.
The author was born in 1947 and grew up in the Chicago area. He went to Jan Amos Komensky in Berwyn, IL, and J. Sterling Morton East High School in Cicero, IL. He received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois. He has been an insurance professional in Illinois and New Mexico for over 40 years, and has recently retired to pursue writing full time.
Family includes his wife, Rose, 2 sons, Robin and Russell, 5 grandchildren, and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews scattered across the world.
Charles began writing in high school and was particularly inspired and encouraged by the teachers of English at Morton East, one of whom encouraged a satisfying interest in the life and works of Mark Twain.
What's in a Name?
The protagonist in the author's three noir thrillers, Charlie Komensky, got his first name from the author's father, Charles Turek, known by all who knew him as Charlie. The character's second name comes from the grade school in Berwyn. Jan Amos Komensky was a Czech historian and scholar who is considered the founder of modern educational science. Charlie Komensky shares his Czech heritage with the author, and appears in The Flat Tire Murders, The Steam Locomotive Murders, Murder U.A.V., and the short stories Wheel Deadly and Killer Interview.
Books by Charles A. Turek
Flaws come with private detectives like mustard and onions come with Chicago hot dogs. Charlie Komensky’s flaws don’t just get in the way, they seem to multiply like roaches in a Chicago tenement. Will the hard-driving, relentless detective be brought down as a fatal flaw emerges that could end his career? The answers and more thrills and adventure than Charlie can handle can be found in this comprehensive Charlie Komensky collection.
The stalker of a local news celebrity becomes a murder victim, and Charlie can’t avoid getting involved when she’s killed almost right under his nose. Did the celebrity look-alike stalker get targeted because someone mistook her for the real thing? Or did she learn something while stalking, something so powerful she had to be silenced? Charlie exposes the anchor's ties to the Russian Mafia and becomes a threat to more than just organized crime.
When Charlie’s fiancée Linda is arrested for domestic terrorism, failing to prove her innocence draws him into a nightmare of death and perversion where Linda isn’t the sweet girl he knew. It’s a world of secret sex clubs, covert militias and high-tech weapons beyond his imagination, where Charlie hangs onto moral high ground by his fingertips. No other case has led Charlie into sexier situations, faster action, more thrills, or higher stakes.
Bullets, car bombs, brutal murder and more explode from the pages of this fast-paced mystery of lust, love, fraud and desperation. Private detective Charlie Komensky, in true murder mystery form, never fires a shot as he investigates an apparent double homicide. He is hired by a rich, seductive client from Iowa who wants to pin the murder of her adulterous lover on the widow, and Charlie finds out murder can be more unusual out in the country.
The discovery of a body disfigured by fire and smoke inside an old steam engine interrupts Charlie’s vacation and threatens his relationship with his capable but frustrated fiancée. She threatens a breakup, and Charlie may stray with the willing female investigator assigned to the case. At the same time, shadowy criminal elements conspire to take advantage of Charlie’s distractions while the grotesque murders mount up.
Short story completing the arc between the first and second Charlie Komensky novels. The publisher of a controversial periodical for Chechen separatists sustains fatal injuries in an SUV rollover. Was it murder, suicide, or just an accident? Laid up from injuries sustained in The Flat Tire Murders, Charlie Komensky faces a challenge: He must solve a mystery while confined indoors, and he must do it with his fiancée looking over his shoulder.
A young agent for an international trade agency has remained the strong friend of a college professor who studies ancient science. The agent becomes the subject of an assassination attempt, and finds that his professor friend is not surprised. The professor has known all along that there are powerful people who seek the knowledge of the acceleration of time, and of the words that make it either a weapon or a useful natural phenomenon.
The tragic story of Frank Cermak, a fictional, first-generation Bohemian-American living in Chicago at the verge of The Great Depression. He's a proud and opinionated young man, and he thinks he has the world figured out. The old freight tunnel system buried under the city is the tool that Frank uses to rob, murder, and flourish as a petty mobster, and the stage on which he learns more about his other sins than he would like.