More new Frank Nagler: Hope from a desperate low

More from the work in progress Frank Nagler prequel.

Eventually these stories, with crimes, and murders and desperate people, are about hope and redemption.  This is the low point from which Frank Nagler and the City of Ironton, NJ rise.:

“Jimmy Dawson hunched in the back, far corner table at Mario’s.

The place was empty except for a couple of beer drinkers at the bar staring like zombies at the replay of a TV baseball game; some cheesy Musak tinkled in the air, leaking from hidden speakers.

Given the reputation of the person who had asked to meet with him, Dawson thought the red velvet bar with polyester seats might not have been the best spot.

He wanted a boilermaker to knock down the jitter; he ordered a Coke.

Ironton seemed like it was going to snap.

It wasn’t just the murders. They were happening at an almost casual pace. The city recoiled in horror when police announced each new one, just as it had with the last murder, the one staged in the central city parking lot.

It was something subterranean, continents grinding, an oozing, deadly pressure seeking release; no one would want to be there when it popped.

The local court was busier – More fights, a few drunken after-hours brawls at a couple of the dark, steamy, east side bars with broken neon signs, scraps over hookers and drugs, spilled beers and cheating pool players. Kids robbing moms-and-pops, fights at the high school over girls and cars; gay kids being bushwhacked, bullies stealing lunch money

It was like the heat had sucked out all the wrong that had once cooled and coalesced in the hidden corners of the city and spread it around; the wrong that rose up on a bad Saturday night when the dice rolled sideway, when the beer tasted a little sour, when the glint in an eye across the room was a threat, and when a wink to the wrong woman led to bodies on the floor; when knives were sharp and swift.

There was nothing to hide in, no gray fog of forgiveness, no cooling mist that hung on dry faces, just the shadeless heat, laser beams bouncing off hot glass, the needle-eye reflection, a city blinded, sweating, dulled and beaten to silence.”


The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany; the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; The Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa.


The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:






About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
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