When a home health attendant, Paulette Williamson, appears at Homicide South in Manhattan, she’s introduced to the NYPD’s Detective Darlene O’Hara and skeptically reports the confession of a senior citizen struggling with Alzheimer’s. Gus Henderson, a former junkie and petty criminal, claims he murdered and buried his former partner-in-crime in a park off Avenue B more than a decade ago, a lowlife who fell off the grid and hasn’t been seen since. The city agrees to excavate the alleged scene of the crime, and the police find a body—just not the one they were looking for.
The cops unearth the skeleton of a ten-year-old boy, neatly dressed and buried ceremoniously with a comic book, a CD, some pot, and booze. Instead of an easy open-and-shut case, O’Hara is faced with finding the murderer of a child, and the pressure is on the newly promoted detective to prove herself. The trail takes O’Hara from the seediest corners of the city and its cast of misguided players—a coven of preteen potheads in Tompkins Square Park, a sleazy art house photographer in Chelsea—to a retirement community in South Florida.
Driving headlong into the dark urban underbelly to find a killer, O’Hara uncovers a tribe of criminals who brazenly prey on the weakest members of the population, and she must stop the cycle before yet another child is lost to the depths of the city.
About Peter de Jonge
Peter de Jonge is the author of Shadows Still Remain and the coauthor of three books with James Patterson: Miracle on the 17th Green and the number one New York Times bestsellers Beach Road and The Beach House. He worked as a reporter at the Associated Press and has been a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and other publications. He lives in New York City.
Home health care aide Paulette Williamson doesn’t expect O’Hara to take her seriously when she reports that her client, veteran junkie Gus Henderson, told her that he murdered his off-again partner Charles Faulk 17 years ago and buried him in the garden at 6th Street and Avenue B. The addled old man clearly isn’t much of a witness, even to his own felonies. But O’Hara persuades her boss to let her dig up the plot Henderson has indicated. Sure enough, they find a corpse, though it’s that of a 9-year-old boy who’s been much more recently interred after he bled out from a bullet wound in his shoulder. Stung by having gratuitously opened a cold case with an unidentified victim and no leads, O’Hara posts the technical specs of the bullet on the national law enforcement database. To her amazement, the Sarasota PD reports a match. Longboat Key resident Benjamin Levin, who forsook the boxing ring 60 years ago to manufacture women’s gloves, reportedly shot himself six months ago with the same .22 rifle. What possible connection could there be between two shooting deaths of victims two generations removed whose remains were discovered 1,200 miles apart? To answer that question, O’Hara will have to team up with a no-nonsense lesbian detective in Sarasota, track down a suspicious van gone missing in South Carolina, search for a pair of distraction burglars who prey on the recently widowed elderly, and interrogate a clutch of gypsies back home. – Kirkus Reviews
Book World: ‘Buried on Avenue B’
The Washington Post Book Review – August 5, 2012 (Excerpt)
New York Police Detective Darlene O’Hara starts most workdays with an 8 a.m. vodka and grapefruit juice in a dive called Milano’s that’s not far from the Homicide South headquarters in the Lower East Side. O’Hara admires the view from Milano’s — “the delicacy of the light and the lovely sense of remove, both from pedestrians hustling by on Houston and from time” — and, more to the point, she believes that “a generous pour on an empty stomach provides a measure of perspective.”
When first glimpsed at Milano’s, O’Hara is in urgent need of an enhanced perspective because her 21-year-old son, Axl Rose O’Hara, who was born when she was 15 and named for her favorite rock star, has dropped out of college to start a band. A few nights later, she journeys to a Ukrainian community center to hear Axl fronting his new group, Flat Screen, and bellowing his own composition, “Let’s Get the [Expletive] Out of Dodge!” O’Hara remains a loving mother, but she can’t help wondering “if it’s her destiny to spend both her days and her nights with the mentally challenged.” [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.