‘The Red Hand’ is published, available now

What do we know

This: Six women gone.

Not gone.

Gone could be voluntary.

They were taken.

Things move quickly.

“The Red Hand,” the fourth book in the Frank Nagler Mystery series can be ordered TODAY.

My thanks to the Imzadi Publishing team. Some people have published a hundred books. I’m very proud of my four. Thanks to all for your support. More to come.

Here’s the link to order a copy: : https://www.amazon.com/dp/1944653198/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_H1ZgDbQJB259V




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


A sample from “The Red Hand”:


Nagler walked. Shook out the official chatter, the empty theories,

the “we need to find an answer” talk. Walked into the solace of the

humming Ironton streets.

An answer to what? People can leave, even an old lady with a bad

hip. There’s too little here, he thought. Too much space to fill, so we fill

it with what we don’t know; we guess.

The meeting with Foley produced some information. Nancy

Harmon’s sister from New York had called the department in January

when a fellow doctor had called her to inquire about the locked office.

The postal service reported the mail had piled up in her post office box,

and a number of patients reported to the front desk their concerns about

her absence.

An officer was assigned, the door was rattled, neighboring homes and

businesses were questioned, the mail was retrieved. And none of that

information made its way to us, Nagler thought. Why? Maybe the officer

who knocked on the door was let go in the job cuts, he thought. Did his

job, filed a report, now stuck in a cubbyhole somewhere, and he’s gone.

Foley also had said the cab company had called in February to report

Felice Sanchez missing when she didn’t come back to the garage at the

end of her shift; her empty cab was discovered two days later, and she

was found dead in the Wilson Hotel two days after that.

Jamie Wilson’s boss had called police the day after she went out for

a late lunch and never came back, Foley reported.

All these pieces had never been connected because there was no

reason to connect them. Three deaths about six months apart. They all

seemed to be singular, random events: People die, get killed. Sometimes

no one is caught.

Yet, Mulligan had said all the deaths were connected.

Why are we holding on to that key evidence?

And a second, unsettling thought: Why did Foley keep all this to


Nagler walked then paused at the train station site where Joan Chen

was found.

“Could we have stopped the killer and saved you?” he asked himself


Then another disturbing notion: Who gains by your death?

Nagler had collected the lists, the timelines, the reports and absorbed

the theories and understood that these deaths would not be solved inside

the four walls of the police station.

But Mulligan’s charge remained: An experiment in death. An

experiment. Chemicals dumped into a glass vial, bubbling away,

releasing a gas; a test. Can I get away with one? How about two. Then

three. Testing methods, weapons. If I make it look random, will it take

longer for them to catch on? What should I leave to tell them who I am?

Because the scientist does want recognition, after all. A little at a time.

So Nagler walked.

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.

Walked. In the heated, dusky hours of midweek. Ironton streets

bustling, shouting, sweaty dancing.

Past the shuttered factories, windows wired, glass broken, spider

webs of debris.

He walked seeking ghosts, clues, understanding.

Are you hiding in these shadows, your face a smear on the light, an

echoed voice? Are you following, spying, choosing, jumping?

I know these streets, grew up on them, chased friends down narrow

alleys; waited as unsmiling mill workers trudged limping, smear-faced,

back from the dark, factory hollows; listened as the wind slammed

through broken windows, through thin coats, under collars.

I know how misery turns the smiles on kids’ faces. Know how the

darkness can descend, stealing hope.

But I don’t know you. Don’t know you.

Yet, Nagler thought.

Walked. Asked. Who knows; who among us knows? Knows why.

Someone does.

Past the dark coolness of bars, doors open, the blast of cold from air

conditioners pushing against the sidewalk heat, dry and burning, leaking

jukebox sounds, the clinking glasses of afternoon loneliness.

Past the grumbling train station, soot covered seats, paint chipped,

broken slats, an old lady clutching two shopping bags. An eastbound

train grinds in, a whoosh of open doors, feet flat on metal stairs, slapping

broken concrete, riders step from shade to glare and shield their eyes

with a folded newspaper. A horn blast, squeaking metal wheels, then

rolling, ground shaking, then silence.

Past the dry river bed, leaning wearily on the hot metal Sussex Street

railing, head down, squinting against the watery glare cast from the last

pools hidden in dry rocks and sand. Water so low from lack of rain,

the banks had hardened, browned and cracked. He thought of Marion

Feldman. We would have found you by now.

Walked, called out, voice raw. Demanded; waited.

Past the stoops, the blocks of neighborhood stoops; old men with

straw hats and beer in brown bags, women in long, colored loose skirts

yanked thigh high and waist-tied blouses yelling at kids with soccer balls

to watch for cars; grandmas and diapered babies rocking in a corner of

shade, sweat on soft cheeks, the sighs of innocence.

Nagler walked. Are you all safe in your friendly groups? Will your

laughter protect you?

Peered into alleys seeking a shadow, down sunbaked streets,

looking for a face, squinted into flashing sunlight shining off shifting

windshields; into the wreckage of industries past, arched hollows in

brick walls, birds flapping in gritty shade, plywood slathered doorways,

dripping, softened to paper.

Are you hidden in the darkness, or standing in plain sight?

Walked; stared, seeking the soul of the city, ear tipped for a voice;

questioned, waiting for a whisper. Lives on hold. A table seat empty, a

question hanging, unanswered; space left where someone should be.

When do I begin to figure all this out? When do I begin to feel I’m not

running behind anymore? When does this make sense?

He leaned over the railing of the Sussex Street bridge and let his

mind drift like the river of dark water that floated without logic around

the rocks on the banks, that curled and spiraled, and with each pass,

ground away one more infinitesimal layer of stone, making sand, the

tiny destruction of something solid.

He knew he needed to push the confusion aside, to ask again: What

do we know?

This: Six women gone.

Not gone.

Gone could be voluntary.

They were taken.


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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