Among the favorite words an author likes to hear are: “I really liked your book.”
The other favorite words are: “Your book has been accepted for publication.”
So, I am pleased to announce that the fourth in the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series, “The Red Hand,” has been accepted for publication by Imzadi Publishing of Tulsa.
Thanks to Janice and Anita for their hard work to get to this point.
I mean, fours book in the series. I know there are authors who have written dozens of books, and good for them.
But I have written four (so far).
The Nagler mysteries take place in a purposely closed setting – Ironton, New Jersey – a town that has seen better days rife with dirty politics and the scourges of urban America.
The reluctant hero is all this is Detective Frank Nagler, broken hearted, mildly depressed and yet, by the third book, “The Weight of Living,” confident enough to take on the most evil and despicable villain he had seen.
“The Red Hand,” is a prequel to the other three books, “The Swamps of Jersey,” “A Game Called Dead,” and “The Weight of Living.”
It is set 20 or so years before “Swamps,” and details the start of Nagler’s career as a detective and his marriage to the love of his life, Martha Shannon Nagler.
The story throws him into one of the most terrifying cases in the history of Ironton — the deaths of nine women – and for Nagler it is sink or swim.
I’ll post more about “The Red Hand,” as then yet-to-be determined publishing date draws closer.”
The Nagler books are available in ebook and paperback at:
An anthology edition, containing all three Nagler books and a bonus short story, “Who Shot the Smart Guy at the Blackboard?” is available in ebook, paperback and hardcover at:
An audio version of “The Swamps of Jersey” is available at: https://www.amazon.com/The-Swamps-of-Jersey/dp/B07BT8WHM3/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
A quick sample from “The Red Hand”:
“Of course they were red, the hand prints. The color of blood, red; 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.
For Nagler, staring at the red mark on the hotel had been the door that had cracked open, exposing a dark and sinister place, but the call that a body had been found near the downtown train station was the moment that his new job became real.
He’d been a detective for a month following another round of police department layoffs. He had investigated a burglary or two, a potential arson that destroyed an empty house, and broken up a few husband-wife fights, but he felt was running just to keep up, slogging through the everyday stuff of what he didn’t know, what he couldn’t imagine, one hand outstretched to feel the fog.
And now, ready or not, he was learning the awful lessons of murder first hand.
“Where is she?” he asked a patrolman standing sentry at the dark edge of the train station.
“Half-way down,” the patrolman replied, his voice a drip in a tin can echo. He tipped his head to the left. “It’s bad, Detective. Just sayin’.”
“Thanks,” Nagler replied, trying to sound confident. How bad?
Dispatch had said she was carried or dragged to the train station.
And then, if there wasn’t enough for Nagler to absorb, Medical Examiner Walter Mulligan forcefully said this: “Someone is experimenting in death,” while leaning over the body of the latest victim.
That’s when Nagler felt the ground shift and a tiny hollow spot opened in his heart. We’re supposed to be dispassionate, professional, he reminded himself. Try as he might, that hole never closed.
He ran a shaky hand through his sweat-soaked hair and squinted into a golden haze of a rooftop spotlight across the railroad tracks from where the body was found, and then nodded to Mulligan, trying to appear that he knew what that meant. My first murder case, and it’s an experiment in death.
One is random, or an accident.
Two makes you wonder.
Three becomes heavy.
Four brings fear.
It is more than just a cloud that settled over this city. It is a cancer, a disease that we suck in with each breath. It flows through our lungs, stops behind our eyes so they darken with suspicion; then it settles in our veins, in our blood, replacing love with pain, leaving us with only the darkness. – Jimmy Dawson.”