Read More From SHARDS OF SUMMER
A dark, sensual dance along the Jersey Shore...then mutilation and murder. Sixty years later, will a killer be unmasked?
In many ways, SHARDS OF SUMMER was one of my most deeply satisfying stories to write. It combined my love of language and a good, gritty, erotic mystery with a beach setting. I've vacationed many times in Ocean City, New Jersey, where the story is set, and it's a place that continues to call to me. Who hasn't felt peace, despair, awe, and wonder while standing next to the ocean? For this particular book, I enjoyed researching not only America during and after WWII, but reading about burlesque dancers and strippers to create my main character, Alison, an emotionally disturbed dancer who falls for a married Italian cop who's investigating strange killings at the Jersey Shore.
“Only Bruce Springsteen has captured The Jersey Shore so compellingly
Alison Ginger Jones, the main protagonist is accused of a long ago murder
And phew, what a story
She dances along your mind long after you've finished the book
It's The Great Gatsby for the beach generation
You will never see the term 'collections' in quite the same way...
Shards of brilliance in truth.”
Ken Bruen, ONCE WERE COPS, LONDON BOULEVARD
Ocean City, New Jersey
Giovanni parked the cruiser in front of Marjorie Elizabeth Stanton’s white Victorian beach house, one of the first two hundred built on the stretch of sand and sea. He and Dolly got out of the car and Anthony pressed the button on an antiquated intercom system. “Ms. Stanton, Ocean City Police,” Anthony said.
“Come in,” a voice buzzed back. “I’m in the kitchen, off the living room.”
He opened the door and they stepped inside. Giovanni took off his sunglasses, his eyes adjusting to the respectable darkness. The shades were drawn on the tall, narrow windows. They walked through the parlor and living room to the kitchen, passing a rococo revival sideboard laden with shiny silver and a fancy centerpiece. The room was filled with the heavy furniture of an age gone by; a low chintz-covered easy chair of the Victorian era stood like a sentinel by the fireplace.
In the kitchen, Marjorie sat at a small white table overlaid with dark green marble tiles, one hand in her lap, the other fingering a rosary hung around her neck. The oil-painted mask over her face. Sunlight streamed in from the only open window, creating a halo of color—the mask seemed to melt into itself, into a burn and smear of amber, flesh-tone, the lips a running wine.
Anthony and Dolly showed her their badges.
She dropped the crucifix to her frail breast and waved the badges away. “No need for that.” She looked at Giovanni. “I know who you are. You’re Anthony Giovanni. I watched you grow up, you know. Your father Agosto, too.”
Except for the mask, she looked like a Sunday school teacher in her impeccable blue linen suit. The fact that someone had watched him grow up surprised him. He was even more surprised when she lifted a gun from her lap.