I got this notice today, and I’m thrilled to announce it:
“It is with great pleasure to announce that THE WEIGHT OF LIVING has been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the Mystery category. There were hundreds of entries from around the world and your book was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal.”
The fourth, THE RED HAND, a prequel to the series, was published on June 30.
This is the story of The Weight of Living: A young girl is found in a grocery store Dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top. She does not speak to either Detective Frank Nagler, the social worker called to the scene, or later to a nun, who is an old friend of Nagler’s.
What appears to be a routine search for the girl’s family turns into a generational hell that drags Nagler into an examination of a decades old “suicide” of a young girl, and the multi-state crime enterprise of the shadow ringmaster.
The deeper Nagler looks, the more he and his companions are endangered, until the shocking climax that leaves Nagler questioning his actions to both solve the crimes and heal his damaged soul.
For more on THE WEIGHT OF LIVING listen to my Author’s Page interview.
The book has been well reviewed:
- THE WEIGHT OF LIVING by Michael Stephen Daigle balances its thriller tenets with solid characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and a breathless plot that careens from one realistic scenario to another. The narrative is a stunning and engrossing meditation of grief and survival that examines the insular world of Ironton, New Jersey whose past is clouded by everything from a devastating flood, to the near extinction of viable business opportunities to slimy politicians.
Frank Nagler, an investigator with the local police department has seen it all. His latest foray to the dark underbelly of Ironton involves a young girl discovered standing shoeless in a dumpster clad only in a tank top and shorts. The weather is freezing and the girl isn’t talking, either because she is unable to or chooses not to.
The tale unfolds as several characters ranging from our stalwart protagonist to an array of complex characters who each adds insight and ultimate resolution into the intricate and deeply troubling mystery.
Daigle has provides an engrossing portrait of a town and its residents that examines the pain inflicted by long buried secrets as he couples these with tension and a pensive sadness that hooks the reader and never lets up.
- Daigle hits his stride in this third Frank Nagler Mystery. The characters are strong and convincing, and the plot is unpredictable, with sudden twists that take even a careful reader by surprise. The setting is dark, unsettling and gritty, a northern NJ city caught up in the aftermath of decades-long political corruption and financial hardships. Detective Frank Nagler is the last honest man in this city, the white knight who defends the weak and downtrodden. Of the three books in the series, this is the one that pulls out all the stops and tells a story of such depravity and evil that there will be times when you pause your reading and you’ll want to wash your hands. But it’s in this juxtaposition of the dark and light that the exquisite tension of the story builds, the decency and strength of the Nagler character is revealed and the sordid mystery of the little girl left filthy and neglected in a dumpster unfolds. This book is recommended reading if you’re looking for an inventive plot and boldly drawn characters.
- I picked this book to read from a recommendation of a friend. By accident, I started with book 3 of the Frank Nagler Mystery series. I was not disappointed as the book was a fantastic stand-alone for a series and I immediately read the first two, after. This story was set in a typical American small city/town. The scenes were set and believable to the point I thought I was working with the protagonist as I continued reading to try and solve the twisting story. Corruption exploited the scores of many locations and scenarios. The girl was a great addition to the story and made me want to find out more.
I highly recommend this read and the full series. Kudos to the author.
THE WEIGHT OF LIVING is a multiple award winner:
2017: First Place in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards
2018: Named a Notable 100 Book in the Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest
2018: Named a Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards contest.
2018: Named a Distinguished Favorite in the Big NYC Book Contest.
Here’s a link to purchase the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071CXW1JW/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3