A 5-star review for “The Swamps of Jersey” Thank you Arthur.
5.0 out of 5 starsRealistic, well-written mystery
“Michael Daigle combines his experience as a journalist with impressive fiction-writing skills to craft something that could have come out of the headlines. The concept of place has always intrigued me. In this tale of a once-prosperous New Jersey city that battles natural and human-made disasters, he places realistic characters in this murder mystery. Seemingly unrelated events and clues actually fit together, and Detective Frank Nagler tries to make sense of it all.
The author’s style is crisp and exciting. I want to read more, and heartily recommend Michael Daigle to anyone!”
The beginning: Scene One of “The Swamps of Jersey:”
“The ringing phone grabbed Detective Frank Nagler from the fitful sleep he had found crammed into an office chair like a discarded suit jacket. It was three a.m.
The phone rang again, buzzing like a swarm of flies. He rolled dizzily sideways, slammed his feet to the floor and sat in the chair, feeling his back clench. Crap, that hurt. The phone rang again. And again. He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands and waited for one more ring, then picked up the receiver. “You’re kidding,” he replied wearily to the dispatcher’s request. “What’s next, locusts? Yeah, never mind. Thanks. Just what we need after all this. Be there soon.”
He wrapped himself in his long black raincoat that had become his shield against the wet and raging world, and leaned into the outer door as the hurricane winds slapped him awake.
He had not seen the sky for days, felt the heat of the sun, wore dry shoes or walked outside without that raincoat since the storm blew in and sealed the hills above the city with a dense smothering grayness, a swirling menace of thunder clouds and shrieking winds that pounded the city with an apocalyptic rain that sent the Baptist preachers howling to the hills about sin and damnation. It emptied the grocery store shelves of everything but a few cans of cream of mushroom soup, and locked the residents in the top floors of their homes as the river crashed its banks, flooded streets and rearranged the city landscape like a madman with an earth mover.
The placid, blue August sky had been replaced by rain that came and stayed. Rain with menace, rain that pulsed around corners dark with dislodged pieces of the earth as it ripped away every weak thing it could; rain that claimed, rain soulless and dark as evil; that challenged knowledge; rain that took possession.
The ancients knew what to do with rain like this, he thought wickedly, squinting into the horizontal blast of water.
Conjure an honest man with a ship and spin a parable about the wages of sin. Nagler laughed sourly. And then get out of town.
Nagler plowed his car through the treacherous bumper-deep water that filled the downtown streets. Random spotlights, swinging loosely from dangling wires on damaged poles or hanging off ripped roof tops banged with the hollow, doomed echo of cathedral bells at the end of times and flashed a shifting and sinister light on flooded parking lots or intersections rippling with dark water. Store after store was dark, some with boards covering glass windows; others had jagged shards of glass that gleamed menacingly in the fractured light, hanging in dented window frames.”
Published by Imzadi Publishing, Tulsa, OK. Cover by Anita Dugan-Moore.
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=