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.
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Bob Brink is a journalist who worked with the Palm Beach Post, The Associated Press in Chicago, Milwaukee Journal, Tampa Tribune, Joliet Herald-News, and Palm Beach Media Group (magazines). His byline has been on thousands of news stories, features, and entertainment reviews.
He has been a freelance writer for several years, and now is embarked on writing novels. To promote MURDER IN PALM BEACH, he has a website, with a blog on which he addresses three passions: grammar, alternative health care, and socio-political issues. The website address is: www.bobbrinkwriter.com.
Brink has won numerous writing accolades and several awards, including three for Palm Beach Illustrated, which won the Best Written Magazine award from the Florida Magazine Association after he became copy chief and writer.
He was a reporter for the Palm Beach Post when the crime this novel is based on occurred. It was an enormously sensational event that was featured six years later on a national TV show, and made newspaper headlines for 15 years
Besides dabbling in short-story writing over the years, Brink immersed himself in learning to play the clarinet and tenor saxophone. He performed many years with an estimable, 65-piece community symphonic band, and played a few professional big band gigs. He relegated music to the back seat after embarking on writing novels.
A product of Michigan and Iowa, Brink has a bachelor’s degree in English from Drake University in Des Moines and completed graduate journalism studies at the University of Iowa.