The doorbell rings in the home of a prominent Palm Beach citizen, quickly followed by a shotgun blast that shatters a window, cracking the calm of a cool January night. Rodger Kriger falls to the floor, mortally wounded, leaving a wife and six children.
Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died is closely based on a sensational, real murder that happened in the posh ocean-side town in 1976. In the thin guise of fiction, the book contains shocking new information never before made public. Author Bob Brink, an award-winning journalist, was a newspaper reporter in the locale where the assassination occurred. It made media headlines for 15 years.
An ambitious prosecutor pins the deed on Mitt Hecher, a hoodlum and karate expert. At Hecher’s trial, fellow jail inmates testify that he confessed. He is convicted and sentenced to the brutal and anarchic state prison at Raiford, where a stabbing a day and a killing a week are the “mean” average.
Judges repeatedly frustrate Hecher and several attorneys working without fees to get a new trial, as investigators pursue myriad scenarios. Meanwhile, his wife contracts a deadly disease.
Was Hecher innocent, and if so, who did it? Did the sons of a wealthy Cuban kill Kriger? Were the operators of a gambling enterprise out to get him? Was a love triangle the basis for the shooting? Did a vicious underworld figure do the bidding of a criminal gang? Was a prominent politician behind the slaying? Those are the questions seeking answers amid the exploration of issues of justice and power.
Murder in Palm Beach is the saga of a battle between a man whose swagger has sent him spiraling to the bottom and powerful, sinister forces determined to keep him there. It is a narrative of redemption wrapped in a mystery tale reeking with power, sex, and violence. It also contains a heart-rending love story.
Bob Brink was a journalist with the Palm Beach Post, The Associated Press in Chicago, Milwaukee Journal, Tampa Tribune, Joliet Herald-News, and Palm Beach Media Group (magazines). He has won numerous writing accolades. For several years, he has blogged on the world of books, grammar, alternative health care, and sociopolitical issues. Brink's salient book is Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died, an Amazon Kindle bestseller for 15 weeks. He also authored A Tale of Two Continents, a ghost-written memoir; Breaking Out, a coming-of-age novel; and The Way It Was: Short Stories and Tall Tales. His third novel, Blood on Their Hands, is due for publication soon by TouchPoint Press.
I read the book, expecting to find it to be a typical whodunit. To my surprise, the narrative was anything but run of the mill in this regard, and the lead character is a criminal who reforms and is impossible not to become engaged with and want to have succeed in life. And he's a genuine tough guy whom I found believable in every regard, something I can seldom say about many heroic protagonists of late, and this includes those offered by authors whose books sell in mega numbers … A lot of intrigue, a great storyline, and characters to root for (there's a woman in the story who will tear your heart out).
Rob Bacon, ThePerfectWrite.com newsletter