A Swallow Press Book

Slow Burn
An Andy Hayes Mystery

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

“Even more gripping than his debut novel, this second installment firmly establishes Welsh-Huggins as a rising star in the genre. Expect a late—and rewarding—night of addictive reading.”

Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Andy gets a lot wrong before getting it right, but his dogged digging is fun to follow.”

Publishers Weekly

“With snappy dialogue and a hard-boiled protagonist, Slow Burn is a timely, refreshing return to the pulp novels of long ago. It’s a wonderful mix of vintage detective work with a modern nod toward Mike Hammer.”

Reavis Z. Wortham, author of the Red River mystery series

“Great fun to read…. Grade: A

Jane Durrell, Cincinnati CityBeat

Almost two years have passed since Aaron Custer supposedly set a fire at a house in Columbus that killed three college students, including the young woman with whom he had argued just hours before. Prosecutors had an ironclad case against Custer, a convicted firebug whose fingerprints were found on the lighter that started the blaze and who quickly pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty. Private investigator and fallen Ohio State football star Andy Hayes is skeptical when Custer’s grandmother asks him to reopen the investigation by finding a mysterious witness who may have seen the real culprit that night. Andy’s doubts fade as he uncovers a tangle of motives for the victims’ deaths, implicating the state’s natural gas fracking boom, drug dealers, and more. But to delve deeper, Andy must once again make amends with his past. TV reporter Suzanne Gregory, a former fiancée, has more information on the Orton Avenue fire than any journalist in town, but asking for her help means reopening old wounds — just as Andy has embarked on a new relationship he’s determined not to screw up. As Andy follows Custer’s trail down ever-darker paths, he must revisit his past and decide whether he can afford to forfeit his future.

Author and reviewer Bill Osinski called Fourth Down and Out, the first of the Andy Hayes mysteries, “A tall, frosty stein of Middle-American noir, backed with a healthy shot of wry.” In this second installment, Andrew Welsh-Huggins draws on real events and current affairs to bring his city to life — warts and all .

Andrew Welsh-Huggins covers criminal justice issues for The Associated Press in Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of four Andy Hayes mysteries: Fourth Down and Out, Slow Burn, Capitol Punishment, and The Hunt, as well as No Winners Here Tonight: Race, Politics, and Geography in One of the Country’s Busiest Death Penalty States and Hatred at Home: Al-Qaida on Trial in the American Midwest.



Retail price: $16.95, T.
Release date: Apr. 2017
312 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World


Retail price: $26.95, T.
Release date: Apr. 2015
312 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World


Release date: Apr. 2015
≅ 312 pages
Rights: World

Additional Praise for Slow Burn

“Brisk pacing and a convoluted plot make Slow Burn a juicy, satisfying thriller as Andy follows multiple improbable but increasingly convincing leads…a rousing read that will gratify the most jaded of mystery fans, with added interest for those familiar with Columbus.”

ForeWord Reviews

Slow Burn starts strong and gets better. It’s a solid mystery firmly anchored in the private eye tradition, but not weighed down by the clichés of it. The Andy Hayes series, featuring a detective with a tarnished past working out of Ohio’s capital city, has a lot of potential. I suspect that it will wear well.”

Dan Andriacco, author of Rogues Gallery and six other mystery novels.

“Welsh-Huggins scores again with the second book in his Andy Hayes mystery series, a tale that will seem familiar to those who recall a 2003 house fire that killed several students near the Ohio State campus. The author’s narrative fits comfortably in the realm of American mystery writing, and he remains true to his mission of making Columbus a co-star.”

Bob Hunter, Columbus Dispatch columnist and author of A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus: Finding the Past in the Present in Ohio’s Capital City