A Swallow Press Book
“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.”
“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 six Andy Hayes mysteries: Fourth Down and Out, Slow Burn, Capitol Punishment, The Hunt, The Third Brother, and Fatal Judgment. He also wrote 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, both from Ohio University Press. More info →
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As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive.
Kabul, Afghanistan, 1979: CIA station chief Lucius Burling, an idealistic but flawed product of his nation’s intelligence establishment, barely survives the assassination of the American ambassador. Burling’s reaction to the murder, and his desire to understand its larger meaning, propel him on a journey of intrigue and betrayal that will reach its ultimate end in the streets of Shanghai, months after 9/11.