Scranton comedian Will ‘Half & Half’ Robbins shows serious side with new thriller novel ‘The Big Payback’
Local comedy fans know Will Robbins as “Half & Half” when he performs throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, opening for national acts like Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan, but many aren’t aware that he’s also the author of two crime thrillers – “Ice,” released back in 2009, and his latest book, “The Big Payback.”
Originally written as a horror movie screenplay, “The Big Payback” takes place in his hometown of Scranton and was inspired by films like “I Spit on Your Grave” and “The Last House on the Left,” as is evident in the description:
The quiet town of Scranton, Pennsylvania gets shaken up when a group of men hell bent on living out their mantra of “Rape, Torture, Murder” emerge. The men seem to rack up the murder rate in the town all while eluding the authorities. The men’s plans seem to be going all too well until they attack the wrong woman.
Tamara Davis lived the simple life in the town of Scranton. She’s a beautiful career woman putting her younger brother through college. She has great friends, colleagues, goals, and aspirations. Her life gets turned upside down when she is raped, tortured, and almost murdered. The harrowing experience almost puts Tamara on the brink of insanity. Ashamed to go to the authorities or speak to family or friends, Tamara plots her own twisted sordid plan to take control of her life once again. For Tamara, everything isn’t as it seems as she seeks vengeance and she must choose between love and revenge. Her blood lust is only matched by the men fighting to preserve their lives and the authorities at everyone’s heels trying to solve the murders and make the people of Scranton feel safe again.
According to his author bio, the 39-year-old writer is the youngest of three kids, and he lost his mother soon after he was born due to heart complications. By the time he was 7, his father was incarcerated, but Robbins escaped the drugs and violence in his area through “education, community support, martial arts, and an aunt that he affectionately calls ‘Mom.'” He is now married and lives with his wife and children in Scranton working with juvenile delinquents.
His first novel, “Ice,” was a more personal story based on his own experiences and people he knew growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey:
All kinds of war are tearing up the streets of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Brothers Black and E-Double are tired of working the drug game under Ice and his Port Au Prince Posse. They tap some of their childhood friends in order to form the Eastwick Hustlers to try to branch out on their own. They had no idea that the cost of pursuing their freedom would be so much blood.
While friends and foes alike die in the midst of the power struggle, Black finds himself struggling with a different kind of battle – the one within him. A new life and a new love offer Black a chance at something better, but can love triumph over the game? Or will Black find the call of the street too strong to resist? This story of hustler vs. hustler pits, drug dealers, crooked politicians, corrupt police, and one tough DEA agent, all against one another. Ice and his Port Au Prince Posse go head-to-head in a who’s who battle with Black and his Eastwick Hustlers. Only one crew can reign!
Robbins is currently working on a third book that includes characters from “Ice,” as he explains in a recent interview with “Northeast Current:”
Both “Ice” and “The Big Payback” are available now in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, photographer, and podcast host. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.