Gallows Hill by Rory O’Brien

Murder in Salem? In this day and age?  (read an excerpt here!)

First day back on the job, and there’s a corpse hanging at the infamous Gallows Hill in Salem, Massachusetts.

In therapy and still shaken after having killed a suspect, introverted police detective Andrew Lennox hasn’t revealed the full story behind the shooting that sent him into therapy and put him on Xanax. He and his partner soon discover that the hanged man is the lost heir of the Musgraves, an old family with a twisted history, who deny all knowledge of the victim. Solving the case takes Lennox through the colorful byways of modern Salem, a city still haunted by its own dark history of Puritan hysteria and witch-hunting zealots. He must deal with Halloween tourists, self-styled witches, college students, tarot readers, local politicians, retired cops and recent immigrants. Lennox discovers that everyone in Salem keeps secrets, and some will kill to keep them.

“Rory O’Brien is an astonishing conjurer with words.  Out of his deep historical knowledge, his perceptiveness about everyday existence, and his vivid imagination, he has brought to life in all its unique glory the legend-haunted city of Salem, Massachusetts, and populated it with characters both endearing and creepy, whose unpredictable misfortunes  trace out intriguing, unforgettable mysteries.  Detective Andrew Lennox is an utterly believable hero whose clever exploits provide subtle frissons.  If Lennox does not soon appear in a second adventure, I suspect that many readers–and not just those in the unquiet graves of Salem–will make their displeasure known.”

— Paul Di Filippo, co-author of Families Are Murder

“What could be more ideal than a murder mystery set in Salem, written by an expert on the dark secrets of New England? What could be better than a police procedural at the very epicenter of our Trick or Treat tradition? Anyone seeking a delightful whodunit will eat this book up like a bag of Halloween candy. Here’s hoping Rory O’Brien’s first foray into crime fiction will not be his last!”

— Walter Greatshell, author of Terminal Island

$12.95 US + $2.50 US shipping