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Murder Garden by Ron Fritsch

A layered, compelling read that will keep the pages turning…

A driving plot, immaculately dispersed red herrings, and compelling characters make Fritsch’s latest novel a thoroughly entertaining read. Chicago. 1960. Life is looking good for Ted Linden: he has a rewarding career as a banker, his relationship with 19-year-old Warren Hadley is going steady, and his family is supportive of his homosexual lifestyle. His life turns upside down when after returning from work one evening, he finds Warren dead in the backyard with his throat slit. Though Darrel Hadley, Warren’s hot-headed brother, had recently threatened Warren, the homophobic and bigoted attitudes within the Chicago Police Department make Ted a number one suspect. Detective Tim Conway of Chicago Police Department is a clever detective. But will he be able to look past his preconceived notions and discover the real killer? Fritsch weaves this captivating story with superb skill. He portrays a lively account of the 1960s era, a time of personal and social revolution. Fritsch doesn’t shy away from the era’s politics but doesn’t preach, either. Rather, he examines the lives of gay population who are part of a difficult and often conservative society that devalues their lives and forces them to face discrimination solely based on their sexual orientation. He blends his keen understanding of the human psyche with verve and skill. Told from Ted’s point of view, the novel crackles with energy; Ted, who is a suspect in the beginning, soon joins hands with Conway, fighting blatant bias and discrimination in his pursuit of truth. He is an engaging protagonist with a rich inner life and personal history. Despite his tendency for aloofness (during the course of the narrative, he comes out flat-out cold, especially in the court), his relationships with Warren, Vernon, and his mother and sister is endearing, providing both texture and depth to the vicious crime at the story’s center. The conscientious mystery is satisfying enough, but it’s the increasingly complicated circumstances Ted is subjected to because of his lifestyle that’s most memorable. While the story ends on a tragic note (the conclusion recounts the betrayals and losses that Ted had to suffer), the last paragraph will leave readers cheering for the resilient hero. Throughout, Fritsch confronts issues of familial ties, love, passion, friendship, mental health, and self-love. A brilliantly told authentic story of murder, jealousy, and hatred that will leave an indelible mark.

Murder Garden

Ron Fritsch

Buy now

Asymmetric Worlds

Pub date January 4, 2023

ISBN 979-8985072631

Price $9.99 (USD) Paperback, $2.99 Kindle

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