The knight’s tale
a story of the future
Available now in Paperback at Amazon.
If history repeats itself, the future may come more than once.
Three generations after the end of the famines and plagues now known as ‘The Elide,’ when the Long Wars are little more than legend, a depopulated world has renewed itself again.
The earth’s abandoned colonies in the heliosphere are flourishing and independent, while the ‘remnant’ peoples of the earth have reorganized under weakened governments without armies.
Trade between the outer nations and the earth has increased steadily as fears of lingering viruses fade and the demand by the former settlements for the earth’s natural resources and raw materials like wood, fertile soil, and specific minerals, continues to grow.
In a mere three weeks of the year 2162, John Holt, an aging paladin in the now dwindling Order of Pelagius, those sworn to defend surviving civilization, attempts to keep his own honor while fulfilling his duty and resolving past mistakes, even as he confronts his own future.
Called upon by Wilmer Wright, a former knight and now local sheriff, to solve the mundane murder of a cattleman in New Hampshire, John is beguiled once more by the sheriff’s daughter, Glenys, as he finds himself entangled in the breaking of a local slave trade, snared by the correcting of a wrongful death he may have caused, and obligated to investigate another.
Unknowingly at first, he must confront a greater power working to dominate the Myriad nations of the earth and the independent states of the heliosphere, even as a previously vanquished foe seeks revenge amidst a clash of history and circumstance, while using railguns, railroads, dirigibles, steam trucks, and river barges, and with the help of a horse named Rosie.
The Dark Heart of Night
1937. Murder before breakfast.
A beer and a beating for lunch.
Just don’t be late for dinner or a deadline.
In the midst of their daily assignments covering murder and mayhem as well as the political machinations of LaGuardia’s New York, Hugh McNeill, a young press photographer for the New York Daily Mirror has fallen in love with Cass Green, a crusading reporter for the same paper.
While pursuing a serial killer and possible prostitute apparently doing away with her clients one by one, they probe the supposed suicide of a young lawyer fighting anti-Semitism.
Their city editor, The Boss, tries at first to separate them and then, giving that up as a lost cause, throws them together for the chase.
Cass’s investigation of a high-end madam results in the attentions of a rogue mobster who has been moving in on the Lucky Luciano prostitution rackets and is now trying to kill her.
An investigation of the German American Bund makes Cass a target of Nazi spies. Meanwhile, one after another, bodies continue to turn up, and Cass’s relentless investigation leads her ever closer to the probable killer, a psychotic Stalinist attempting to eliminate Trotskyite traitors to the cause of the Comintern.
It’s the time of hard-bitten city editors and soft-hearted molls, of Bogey and The Babe, when Walter Winchell’s On Broadway and Al Capp’s Li’l Abner pay the bills for William Randolph Hearst while the nation moves to the beat of Benny Goodman and George Gershwin.
It’s the hour of Howard Hughes and Katharine Hepburn, Stanwyck, Astaire and Welles, when the DC-3 arose, the Hindenburg fell, the 20th Century Limited departed and Superman arrives in the nick of time.
Praise for Vincent McCaffrey’s Writing
“McCaffrey is never cloying or playing to demographic. He’s just telling a compelling, old-school yarn, the kind of story a man who knows his literature tells.”
“Vincent McCaffrey is obviously a man so well read that he seems to have gleaned a deep understanding of human nature from his studies. His characters are appealing and sympathetic and his story well plotted. I look forward to his next novel after what was a most enjoyable debut.”
“McCaffrey has a gift for crafting quirky characters and original dialogue…”
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