Sunday, June 17, 2007

News: Brooklyn DA Publishes First Novel

Here's another story on a new mystery author and his road to the publication of his debut crime novel. Thomas Tracy of the Bay Ridge Courier asks the rhetorical question, What's harder than prosecuting a triple homicide? Writing a novel about one. The aptly titled , published this month by St. Martin's Press, is written by longtime Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.

Born out of real stories of corruption and centered around two men who ultimately dare to challenge the fabled “blue wall” of silence, the novel works toward a majestic courtroom on Long Island, where NYPD Sergeant Steven Holt is about to stand trial for triple homicide and where, as he comes to know his past, he’ll learn that nothing he’s known has ever been as it seemed.

Tracy writes that it took about three years for Hynes to write the book. And then came the hard part: getting it published. “It took me ten years to get a publisher,” Hynes recalled. “The reality is that publishing houses no longer take manuscripts like they used to. When he first started out, John Grisham’s wife sent fifty copies of his book directly to fifty publishing houses. But now you have to get an agent first.” Getting an agent was by far the most difficult part of the process, he said.

But it was worth it, with Triple Homicide earning positive reviews. Library Journal writes, "His experience as a DA lends instant credibility and an insider voice that few authors are able to attain. Hopefully a second novel isn’t far behind."

As for a second novel, “I don’t think [Grisham and other courtroom drama scribes] have anything to worry about,” said Hynes, who is currently fulfilling his fifth term of office as District Attorney. “It took me sixteen years to get the book out. While I’m working on a sequel, I don’t know if I can get it done in this lifetime."

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