I don’t want to remember

I don’t want to remember 9/11.

I don’t want to remember Sandy Hook, or El Paso or Dayton or Orlando, Charlotte, Cupertino, Las Vegas or the Texas bell tower.

I don’t want to remember Beirut, Flight 103, Pearl Harbor.

I don’t want to remember The Trail of Tears or kids in cages.

Or Mattawan.

Or Uganda or the hundreds of the senseless slaughters that appear with a Google search.

I don’t want to carry any more the faces and cries of the families, the empty chair at dinner table, the empty bed rooms; don’t want to imagine filling the silence of a damaged heart.

Remembering doesn’t change anything.

We remember 9/11 with the caveat: “Never Again.”

But it happens again.

Because we still hate, still covet land and power and domination.

The scale of death and destruction might vary, but it happens again.

Are the deaths at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93 less important than the kids and teachers at Sandy Hook?

It happens again because we don’t really want to change. We want revenge and our leaders seek ways to institutionalize it because it empowers them as they take advantage of the grief of families torn apart by their inaction.

I don’t want to have to remember 9/11.

I want it to fade in my remaining days to one more day in the wash of human events when wrong was done.

What I want to remember is that we taught ourselves how to stop it.

I don’t want to be in Boston after one more event and have my grandson, as did my son after 9/11, look up at the glass face of a skyscraper and say, “I don’t want to go up there because they fly planes into buildings.”

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Max meets Emma: WIP, ‘The year the world came to Mount Jensen, Maine.’

She slouched into her clothes like the cloth was air.

The open neck of her oversized t-shirt slipped from bare shoulder to bare shoulder like water spilling over shore rocks, each wave gentle and cleansing.

She was leaning over the open top of the ancient Coke cooler – my father had thought the old red metal box with “Coca-Cola” in white script on the side, was more authentic for a small old town like Mount Jensen than a modern soda vending machine, and thought it was even more authentic once he removed the sliding glass top after kids had jammed it closed so many times the glass cracked. He filled the machine with blocks of clear ice and dumped in bottles and cans of soda that settled and swirled into frigid water that was so cold your arm froze searching for a root beer. It was worth it. The soda washed down your throat in a pure, cold rush, more sensation than flavor, a chilled freezing thing that surged through your body and pushed the heat from your fingers and arms and legs and toes until you stood shivering, transformed from a hot, sweaty kid fresh from the playing fields to an ice-sucking statue, ice frozen to your mouth, tongue thick and immobile and you’d give your right arm for another hit.

I watched her from the edge of the grocery roof while I was surveying the gray, dying town. I always wondered how all the buildings had seemed at the same time to evolve and shed their colored skins that once painted the landscape to reveal the pale bones of age. Wondered why everything seemed so sad.

She was not colorless, and as I learned, refused to be sad.

“Bad things,” she would say later, “Sorrowful things, stuff that hurts — throw them away, strip away all the things that weigh you down until you stand in the naked joy of your sweet soul.”

Yellow pants, a purple shirt and a flowing red scarf; her hair was an unnatural orange.

I couldn’t help it.

I yelled to her, “Hey, whatcha doing?”

She looked up to my voice.

“Stealing a soda. What are you doing?”

“Watching you.”

“You gonna turn me in?”
“Doubt it. Snag me a root beer and I’ll be right down.”

She just smiled back.

I clambered down the fire escape on the right side of the building jumping over steps, landing with a loose, echoey bang on the metal platforms, spinning, jumping lower, till I hit the ground with a dusty thump and stumbled to the edge of the building. She stood still in the golden sun, as exotic and strange as an angel, the likes of which Mount Jensen had never seen, her face round and serene, the breeze shifting her flowing clothes and her eyes as green as ice.

I came around the corner and just stopped.

“What?” she asked grinning when she saw me.

“Who are you?” My voice had an amazed edge that even surprised me. Who was she?
“I’m Emma Jensen. My mother is the notorious Nola Jensen. Here’s your root beer,” and she tossed the can to me. “You might have heard of her.”

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In two places at once

This weekend I’ll be in two places at once.

How is that possible?

OK. In theory.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be at Belvidere N.J. Victorian Days, a celebration of the history and style of this charming town.

Fellow author J.R. Bale  will also be  there. Look for us on Author’s Alley.

The event consumes the town center, and is centered at Garrett D. Wall Park.

On Saturday (Sept. 7) the event runs from  9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday (Sept. 8)  from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I’ll be discussing and signing copies of my Frank Nagler Mysteries:

“The Swamps of Jersey” (2014); “A Game Called Dead” (2016); “The Weight of Living” (2017); and “The Red Hand” (2019).

The award-winning Frank Nagler series follows the story of Ironton N.J. Detective Frank Nagler as he solves crimes and tries to sort out his troubled life.

“I like creating messy mysteries with lots of moving parts and layers of story. It lets my detective hero Frank Nagler lead the reader through the twists and turns.”

While I’m physically in Belvidere this weekend, I’ll be on a podcast  interview with author Linda Thompson on The Author’s Show all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday discussing the award winning THE WEIGHT OF LIVING.

“The Weight of Living” was awarded FIRST PLACE for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Contest; was named a NOTABLE 100 Book in the 2018 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest; was named a DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE in the 2018 Independent Press Awards; a DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE in the 2018 Big NYC Book Contest; and a FINALIST the 2019 Book Excellence Awards.

 

Link: https://wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow3.html?fbclid=IwAR0zHjdLh62XomD8Cjo63SzuoCMognhi-dvKIDcE9I5Ab-ITZ2Egr3wo59o

 

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Waking to Wolferman’s

The box was a fitting symbol: Dull brown, rectangular, corners glued and stapled. The cover tight, preserving.

The card said, “So sorry” and brought a momentary sigh and flow of tears.

A baker’s dozen of Wolferman’s quality goods to eat away grief.

What offers more relief: A plain Old Fashioned 1910 English Muffin, or a cinnamon roll? Belgian waffles drenched in Pure Maine Maple syrup, or a spoonful of Tart Cherry Preserves spread over a Honey Wheat English Muffin?

Does a soul pass more gently following a salute with a slice of Apple Loaf Cake or

French toast made with slabs of Old Fashioned English Muffin Bread?

 

****

 

The hill is small by such standards: A hundred-foot rise over a quarter-mile. A gentle turn then another smaller rise to a long, flat straight-away.

After two years of aches and pains, surgeries and doubts, would the hill be too great a challenge?

What would cry out first: The ankle with a damaged Achilles, the wrenched knee? Would the ghost of tendonitis rise from a foot joint? Would the legs weakened by inactivity falter?

How many steps tread away the pain of parting?

How many steps loosen the uncertain grip of sadness and the dark dread of ending?

 

****

 

What’s left is space.

We fill it with what’s at hand.

Love can be recalled, unhappiness expelled.

The hill can be conquered. Foot pain be damned.

The Wolferman’s eaten.

Darkness becomes light.

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camp quiet 7am great pond Belgrade Maine

camp quiet…easterly brought winter hint…faded to southerly and wet heat …a pair of eagles feeding…sun cracking gray dawn holding its breath

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‘A substantial book’

A new review: Great Detective Book

The Red Hand by Michael Stephen Daigle is a gritty, raw, and enticing murder mystery that features the rookie detective Frank Nagler. This is a prequel to several other books in the series and really lays out what kind of person Nagler is. This is a great stand alone book, but you should certainly avail yourself of the other books in the series as well. We follow the story of a serial killer in a run down New Jersey town, one filled with desperation but also hope. The writing is substantial, the characters are all interesting and well described, and the plot itself is fascinating. Truly a story about overcoming and trying to survive against overwhelming forces like corruption, terror, and more, this is a substantial book that will keep your attention from the beginning until the end. Daigle writes with a confident tone, one which handles the subject matter with expertise and finesse. Highly recommend.

Other comments:

“A brilliant storyline and excellent and believable characterization make it well-worth reading. The conversations keep the story flowing at a fast pace. If you enjoy tales of a detective who wins against corrupt politicians, terrorists, and criminals, you will love The Red Hand.”

“At first I thought the story seemed quite simple, but there is a lot more depth to it than I had first anticipated. A fine detective novel, quick read and very enjoyable.

“This was a Frank Nagler novel at its best. A real page turner. I recommend it to everyone, especially murder mystery fans.

“What surprised me most about this book was how involved with the story I became, despite knowing the outcome after having read the previous books. That speaks volumes about the quality of the writing. If you enjoy stories about hard-boiled detectives who triumph over a corrupt system, this book is for you.”

“The author presents a riveting story of a serial killer unlike any other in a depressed New Jersey town that seeks a rebirth. Not only is there the well-written story of the case itself, but also how a young detective handles deeply-personal and professional crises at the same time. Michael Stephen Daigle weaves these strands into an excellent work about Frank Nagler, a detective who loves his hometown in spite of everything, and whose devotion to his young wife and duty never waver. He is a very sympathetic character, and readers will want to be with him for every step of the way.”

“As a reader, I like to know what a character is thinking. Michael Daigle gave me all I wanted. The thought processes, the doubts, the anticipation, the exhilaration of a solved case. It’s all there.”

Thanks to all who read and enjoyed the story and took the time to review it. 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00P5WBOQC

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-hand-michael-stephen-daigle/1132368097?

 

Also here’s a link to the trailer created by Anita Dugan-Moore of Cyber-Bytz.com for my publisher:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ_SROHO88c

an audiobook version of THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BT8WHM3/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Change comes to Mount Jensen: Work in progress

This is a story about change in a small Maine town.  The changes come in many forms.  This piece is about setting the framework:

 

The first sign that change had come to Mount Jensen, Maine was the sight of a short man in a blazing yellow jacket nailing a FOR SALE sign to the front door of the Congregational Church.

He admired his handwork for a second or two, touched the edges with two fingers to straighten it; then satisfied, he turned, tossed the hammer and pack of nails into the trunk of his white Cadillac, and drove off.

Not exactly Martin Luther nailing his thesis to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg and starting the Reformation, Henderson thought, watching the actions of the unnamed prophet from a ladder angled against the front of his diner three doors down, but unsettling enough that he dismounted the ladder and strolled over to the old, unpainted church building.

It was the in-between season, late April, the morning air still chilled by an icy touch not yet warmed off. Graying snow piles lined north-facing ditches; fields were broken with cocked roots of cow corn, laid bare, awaiting the furrowing plow. Early sunlight cracked the tips of the dark and silent tree stands, while the palest green shoots of hardwoods brightened the black spruce groves down to the lake where the water swirled with Stygian menace, the shore guarded by frozen blades of rim ice. A layer of wood smoke swirled across the face of the hills that sheltered the settlement, the gritty air burnt.

The diner regulars piled in with dirty ballcaps and hooded sweatshirts covered by stained denim Bean work coats; he would mop a layer of mud and stones off the linoleum before lunch. Trout season would open in two weeks and the streets would be lined with pick-ups hauling small boats that had been dragged from storage, the dust still thick on their canvas covers. The tourists and seasonal campers would show up on Memorial Day.

The church had not been painted in years, about as long as it had not been used as a church, but its sturdy walls and imposing bell tower that rose like an arm outstretched to heaven reminded all that the strong faith of its congregants had carried them through trials and tribulations as they served their stern God. Paint, Henderson had decided as a younger man, meant the church goers would have had to acknowledge that faith and life was not always a grim slog through deep snow in winter, days of privation or that hardness cured the soul of frivolity.

In truth, the Congregational church had not served that denomination after a dispute a hundred-fifty years ago sent half the congregation up to the top of Apple Hill where they constructed a new sanctuary and painted it white. Suddenly half the village of Mount Jensen were Baptists.

The root of the schism was lost to time and a pile of dusty records buried in the cellar of one of the churches, Henderson knew. Legend said it was dispute between the Jensens and the Nettlesons, founding families whose disagreement seemed to have started the moment those early settlers set foot on the lakeshore where the settlement was established.

It was clear who won: The village was not named Mount Nettleson.

Either way, Mount Jensen, a settlement of about five hundred souls had two churches. In modern times, church members settled on a convention of using the hilltop church in the summer and the village church in the winter. Henderson as a kid wondered if that mean everyone was a Congregating Baptist. While it appeared the arrangement was made because the new church had no heating system other than a fireplace, Henderson, who attended neither church, quietly enjoyed the symbolism of using a bright, white church building in the spring and summer, seasons of joy and growth, and then occupying an angry, dark finger-pointing sanctuary in the cold, hard times of fall and winter.

During one Christmas pageant years ago, Henderson, wearing a bulky knit sweater under his choir robes overheated in the closed, crowded church and threw up during “O Holy Night.” They had cut away that smelly piece of ancient rug and never replaced it, leaving an oval of bare floor in the top left corner of the choir loft.

He stared at the sign on the front door of the church: FOR SALE. Can you sell a church? If all its meaning had been removed, you could, he decided.

But if you can buy a church, what else can you buy?

At least it wasn’t the Inn, he thought. The wreck of the Mount Jensen Inn, a sanctuary of a different kind, filled a fenced-in lakeside lot between Henderson’s diner and the old church. It had been the center of the economy and life in the village for more than a hundred years; even if the town fathers disagreed on where to worship, they had placed an oval black-and-white photograph of the Inn on their official stationary.

While the placement of a FOR SALE sign on the church door could feel like the end of times, Henderson thought, even in its grand wreckage, the fact that the Inn was still standing, was a sign of hope.

 

Posted in Fiction, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Red Hand’ in Martha Nagler’s own words; Two new 5-star reviews

One element of the Frank Nagler Mysteries is the strong women. Lauren Fox, Nagler’s companion in THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY, A GAME CALLED DEAD, and THE WEIGHT OF LIVING; Lt. Maria Ramirez, the do-it-all-cop in A GAME CALLED DEAD and THE WEIGHT OF LIVING; and the mysterious Sister Katherine in THE WEIGHT OF LIVING and THE RED HAND.

Before them, all was Martha Nagler, his red-headed wife, whose story is hinted at in the three other books, but who comes to life in THE RED HAND.

She is the woman who defines his life. She is playful, sexy, smart, intuitive and brave.

 

Her introduction: “I know,” she said as she guided his hand under her shirt and placed it on her left breast and then reached up to kiss him.

“Oh, Frank.” A comic, swooning voice.

“Oh, Martha.”

Then they laughed.

“You can stop now,” she said, smiling.

“Stop what?”

“Playing with my tit.” She pulled his hand out from under her shirt and turned toward the window. “There was a commotion across the street earlier tonight. Trash cans, banging, I don’t know. Seemed like it was coming from that empty lot, the one with the junk that we complain about all the time.” She playfully punched him in the ribs. “Who could I call about that? Hmmm. Maybe a cop I know?”

 

Reaching out: Martha’s worried face hovered as he had lain on the bed; her soft hand brushed his brow and cheek. “So much to worry about,” she had said. “Give that worry to me.” No, he had thought. Can’t give it to you. And then she had kissed him, warm lips lingering, and in that instant, took it.

 

Life and death: “Does it not blush, as do I, at the mention of your name, at the touch of your hand?” She brushed the flower across his cheek and he smiled deeply at her performance. “Does it not pulse with life when brushed with pollen, drink in the dew?” She pulled off a petal. “And is it not so frail?” She pulled off another petal and let it drop gently from her fingers to Nagler’s chest. Her voice softened and trembled. “Its time is so brief, its beauty so rare.” She jerked off the remaining petals, leaving a bald stalk. Her voice harsh and firm. “It is time that I want, time with you, sweet rose, before the petals fade; time I do not have. Time no one can give me.”

 

“I would have been a better Juliet in college, you know, in case you were wondering,” Martha said to the sky after she had rolled onto her back. “By then it was more than words. I knew about the loss, the pain, facing death and had already experienced the great love” —she touched his face— “and felt the poetry flow through me, the words of a soul’s awakening coursing in my blood, bursting through the brain’s barrier, throwing open the world.” A soft, teasing laugh.

She rolled to her side and faced Nagler, gently touching his face with a single finger and kissing his eyes, cheeks, and mouth.

“That’s what that…that damned disease nearly took from me, Frank,” her voice now hard. “That chance. You were my Romeo, dear Frank. And for a moment I thought I would lose you.”

 

Teenage fights: “And then the teenager stuff stopped. We grew up right then,” she said. “You were across the street on a night like this, hot, miserably sticky, and I walked over, and we just fell back into each other’s arms. That was the sweetest kiss, like the first one ever. None of the others, and nothing else mattered. It wasn’t lust although I was aching for you. It was just you and me, bodies pressed together, lips soft and lightly brushing each other’s mouth. A little peck, then a long, electric kiss I didn’t want to end.”

He touched her face. “I was trying to figure out how much you had been hurt, so much that you wouldn’t even talk to me.” He kissed her forehead. “Trying to figure out what I’d done, because I’d had to have done something.”

She kissed his palm, and then licked it, smiling.

“Sometime distance is just distance, nothing really, a gap, that makes a wall.” She looked up and smiled softly. “We had to push through it.”

 

Finding Frank: “Why would I tell you?” Martha asked. “You would have run away.” She reached her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. “I needed to be sneakier than that. I saw his boy with the dirty pants and the blue sweater, and he was smarter and more gentle than anyone. But I knew that he was ashamed of where he had come from,” she deepened her voice in an exaggerated growl, “the poor side of town, the wrong side of the tracks.” She smiled and stared into the darkness. “But for me there was no wrong side of the tracks, there was just you.”

His hands were shaking, and tears filled his eyes. “I would have been there still if not for you.”

She smiled and ran a hand through his hair. “What else was I supposed to do there, Romeo? I saw you and nothing else mattered.” He held her face and kissed her deeply. “That’s okay,” she said, winking. “I know you felt the same way. You could say it, but you’re the strong, silent type. The words are in there somewhere. They’ll come out.”

 

The end: “Hush, my love. I want to remember how it feels to be with you, how alive. The salty taste of you on my fingers, on my lips, the things we laughed about, the tears of stupid teenage fights.”

She rolled over to him again and pressed her forehead to his mouth.

“To remember this, just this, you and me and that great big world out there and how we ran into it yelling, telling it to catch up, thinking it never would.” She closed her eyes tightly leaking tears. “I want to hear the morning lark, the robin sing, and sparrows twitter in the bushes. I want to see the sun and you squinting hopelessly toward the horizon. But that night is coming and the only bird I will hear will be the nightingale, announcing darkness. Not yet, but it will come, one last darkness.” A dark growl in her voice. “We’re in the last act. But I don’t want to be Juliet lying cold and dead in that crypt. I don’t want to end at all. I want to be her on the day before, laughing. I want a new ending. Hey, Shakespeare. A rewrite, now.”

He wiped her face with the cloth again and she turned her head to him. “Don’t be scared. Look at me. Let me see your eyes. That’s my strength, Frank. Your eyes. Always.” Silence. Then a whisper. “Romeo’s a-traveling to Mantua. Fetch him.”

 

Oh, and two new 5-star reviews of THE RED HAND.

Stephen R, 5 stars Goodreads:

The Red Hand by Michael Daigle is an investigative mystery and drama-filled story. The main character, Detective Frank Nagler is a young rookie detective. He is assigned a case involving a mysterious series of murders all in a few months. Is there a serial killer in town?

Nagler rises above the gritty town to face gruesome crimes. He is very devoted to his duty and wife. You will sympathize with him as he deals with challenges at work and at home. The investigation takes place in a city marred with corruption. While there is an aura of despair, there is the hope of a better tomorrow.

Michael Daigle does not disappoint in this stand-alone prequel. A brilliant storyline and excellent and believable characterization make it well-worth reading. The conversations keep the story flowing at a fast pace. If you enjoy tales of a detective who wins against corrupt politicians, terrorists, and criminals, you will love The Red Hand.

A reader called “My Nightstand”: I am a huge fan of crime-mystery genre and Michael Daigle’s The Red Hand was a natural choice for me. I zip through crime stories in the summer time, during my holiday or lazy evenings after long hours at work. The Red Hand is a story of detective Frank Nagler in New Jersey. At first I thought the story seemed quite simple, but there is a lot more depth to it than I had first anticipated. Even though this is part of a series I didn’t feel I missed out from not having read the earlier books, but I’m sure I will go back and read the earlier installments after enjoying this so much.

A fine detective novel, quick read and very enjoyable.

 

Find THE RED HAND here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1944653198/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_H1ZgDbQJB259V

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-hand-michael-stephen-daigle/1132368097?

 

Also here’s a link to the trailer created by Anita Dugan-Moore of Cyber-Bytz.com for my publisher:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ_SROHO88c

 

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Read, don’t sweat: Another 5-star review for ‘The Red Hand’

5.0 out of 5 starsAbsorbing drama on mystery and personal levels

The author presents a riveting story of a serial killer unlike any other in a depressed New Jersey town that seeks a rebirth. Not only is there the well-written story of the case itself, but also how a young detective handles deeply-personal and professional crises at the same time. Michael Stephen Daigle weaves these strands into an excellent work about Frank Nagler, a detective who loves his hometown in spite of everything, and whose devotion to his young wife and duty never waver. He is a very sympathetic character, and readers will want to be with him for every step of the way.
The grittiness of the town and the gruesome nature of the crimes never detract from the excellent writing and plot. Great mystery writing is not confined to the past…..it is alive and well here!

 

Thanks, Arthur.

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another 5-star review for ‘Hand.’ Amazing detail in this one

Frank Nagler is a unique detective whose sleuthing is terrific to follow. This is a very fine mystery that invites the audience to capture the other volumes!

I saw this today and wanted to post it.  The reviewer gets to the heart of the Frank Nagler Mysteries.

Author Michael Stephen Daigle is a self-pronounced ‘Navy brat’, explaining why his roots are in both New England and the South. He is a journalist who elects to frame his novels based on places he has lived populated with his fascinating characters. This is the fourth volume of his popular and award-winning Frank Nagler Mysteries – THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY, A GAME CALLED DEAD, THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, and now THE RED HAND – the prequel to THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY. He has also published  a short story WHO SHOT THE SMART GUY AT THE BLACKBOARD.

An overview of the Frank Nagler mysteries shares Ironton, New Jersey. Detective Frank Nagler takes on dirty politicians, Internet terrorists and a shady, evil manipulator who deals in death, theft and destruction. To fully appreciate the richness of this book, reading the Anthology of the three volumes assists, but having said that, this novel is so well conceived that it is a stand-alone novel. In a grisly opening Michael offers, ‘Of course they were red, the handprints. The color of blood, re; the color of life, dripping between the hollow cracks of the siding. Leaking, crimson, chosen carefully. I’m here, the killer said, bragging. Try to find me. – Jimmy Dawson.

With that ‘taste’ of content Michael begins this lurid tale: ‘The first mark had appeared after the third death: red handprint dripping paint slapped on a wall of the busted-up hotel where cab driver Felice Sanchez had been found dead. Underneath, “HAND OF DEATH” splotched in an awkward scrawl. Is that a joke? Detective Frank Nagler thought when he saw the mark for the first time. Pretty crude but you might be in a hurry to leave your calling card after you killed a woman. But he wondered: Where were the marks left after the deaths of Nancy Harmon and Jamie Wilson, the deaths that were now believed to be the first in this cycle?’

Bristling and well scribed, the mystery thriller proceeds as the synopsis well describes it: ‘Rookie detective Frank Nagler has barely had time to arrange his desk, when a new homicide case is assigned to him. Could a serial killer be stalking his hometown of Ironton, N.J.? One by one the bodies pile up. Nine victims are killed over several months, all from different walks of life and different parts of Ironton. Each killed in a different way, forming no clear pattern, as might be expected from a single killer. This investigation takes place before economic hard times, political corruption and a government money scandal hit the former industrial center of Ironton, N.J.’

Keen timing of a fast-paced plot introduces the now respected hero of this series: Frank Nagler is a unique detective whose sleuthing is terrific to follow. This is a very fine mystery that invites the audience to capture the other volumes! Recommended. Grady Harp, July 19

Find it here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1944653198/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_H1ZgDbQJB259V

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-red-hand-michael-stephen-daigle/1132368097?

 

Also here’s a link to the trailer created by Anita Dugan-Moore of Cyber-Bytz.com for my publisher:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ_SROHO88c

Posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, http://www.sallyember.com, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment