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Northwest of Boston: Stories

In Northwest of Boston, Stephen O'Connor's characters live the human drama fully in stories that range from the humorous to the poignant. They go to the crossroads to face their demons, come to terms with the fleeting nature of life and love, and find the courage to follow their own compass. For some, that means an evolution; for others, a steadfast embrace of a world that is passing away.

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This Is No Time To Quit Drinking


The Spy in the City of Books

The past has caught up with Martin LeBris. During World War II, he served the Office of Strategic Services as a spy and saboteur in Lyon, France. Nearly sixty years later, Lowell cop Gerry O'Neil is trying to unravel the mystery of why an assassin is stalking LeBris. The answer to that question lies buried in the dark days of Nazi Occupation, and in the unforgiving memory of The Spy in the City of Books.


The Witch at Rivermouth

“Nestor, why does this creature hate me so much? Why does she hate my blood?”

Minerva Herrera, a young Colombian woman and devout Catholic, is the love of Nestor McCorley’s life. And although twelve years of parochial school have left Nestor with mixed feelings about God and the Church, he and Minerva marry after a brief courtship. She quickly becomes pregnant and the couple enjoy a happy domestic life. But in the late stages of her pregnancy, as Minerva is lighting a candle to the Blessed Virgin, she is confronted in the church by a frightening woman who hurls a shocking curse at her and her unborn child.

In the weeks following the incident, ominous things begin to happen. With his marriage on the rocks and his wife’s health at risk, Nestor begins to search for answers.

Who is this woman? Is someone seeking revenge for something in Nestor’s past? Is Minerva’s former lover trying to get her back? Nestor enlists the help of a priest as he revisits his Catholic grammar school and combs the city for answers. Everyone he meets becomes a suspect as Nestor’s life begins to unravel, and his worst nightmares become real.

Kindle edition available

Ah, the unfortunate Bartley Hannigan. Teacher burnout is just one of his problems. There’s also his disintegrating marriage, the inheritance of a haunted property with its uninvited bibulous guest, a psycho poet with a fatal attraction, the arrival of an Irish banshee hunter with poor personal hygiene, his sudden passion for a stripper, and eventually, the hit man on his trail. But as the gypsy said, this “shit-storm” will lead to either a higher plane of understanding—or sudden death. Either way, Bartley can hear his train a comin', and he's ready to jump aboard and ride the winding rails to the last stop, because he's done with the bullshit! Done!

Kindle edition available

Kindle edition available


Smokestack Lightning: Stories

Thirteen stories set in and around the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, this volume is now in its third printing.

“Stephen O’Connor is a storyteller in the great tradition of Sherwood Anderson and William Saroyan.” David Daniel, author of Renuion and Coffin Dust

“Emotional, rich in word craft, Stephen O’Connor’s stories evoke strong responses and a solid following …” Bill Brocato, Houston Literary Review

“Stephen O’Connor is funny, mysterious, tough yet romantic, like everybody from Lowell, I guess, but with the Howlin' Wolf bred in.” David Lenson, The Massachusetts Review

Book no.4
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