Two 5-star reviews for ‘The Red Hand’

“The Red Hand” has received two 5-star reviews.

Thanks Reyna and Jim.

The reviews:

  1. “While reading the previous three books in this mystery series, I often wondered what the young Frank Nagler had been like. In the earlier books, I met a world-weary detective, broken by the death of his wife when he was a young man and newly married. In this prequel, I met that young man— a rookie detective in his first days on the job and in way over his head on his first big case. The characters in this story were-well drawn and believable. The dialog really spoke to who these characters were and kept the story moving at a brisk pace. The atmosphere was gritty, set in a city that reeked of corruption. But beneath the despair, the people of the city possessed a stubborn hope that tomorrow would be better.
    What surprised me most about this book was how involved with the story I became, despite knowing the outcome after having read the previous books. That speaks volumes about the quality of the writing. If you enjoy stories about hard-boiled detectives who triumph over a corrupt system, this book is for you.”

2. “This was a Frank Nagler novel at its best. A real page turner. I recommend it to everyone, especially murder mystery fans.”

What is interesting about these reviews is that they reflect what I was trying to do with the book.

First, I was trying to write a fairly straight forward police story: Bad guy does crimes, police solve the crimes, arrest the bad guy. It’s not as easy as it seems.

Since this was the prequel to a series, there had to be texture and foreshadowing of other events and the introduction of characters mentioned in the other three books.

That’s a risk.

New readers could be confused as I tried to do all this set up.

And readers of the series could be turned off by the familiar material.

I was trying the thread a literary needle.


“The Red Hand” is about Ironton,. N.J. Detective Frank Nagler’s first big case, in which nine women have been killed. It’s also about the love between Frank and his wife, Martha, the one thing that holds him together in the intense, gritty story.

Can an old-style detective story capture a modern audience?

It can if it is filled with characters that resonate, has a love story for the ages, settings that carry weight and is layered with issues that raise the story above the everyday.

“The Red Hand,”  is  published by Imzadi Publishing.

It’s gritty, moving, probably confounding,


Find it here:


Also here’s a link to the trailer created by Anita Dugan-Moore of for my publisher:





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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