Hart of Madness: A Novel

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In 1902, New York City, nineteen-year-old Ruby Hunt comes home to her Park Avenue apartment to find her family murdered. She is the prime suspect in these gruesome crimes but instead of being placed under arrest, Ruby is committed to an insane asylum for life.

The insane asylum is located on Hart Island, just off the coast of the Bronx. The island has served as the city's largest potter's field since the mid-1800s. Over a million lost souls are buried there.

Ruby's life has irrevocably changed. Her only hope is a kindly caretaker at the asylum and a handsome young rookie police detective with the NYPD.

Detective Liam McCarty is convinced Ruby is innocent and sets out to prove it with the help of investigative reporter Nellie Bly, whose experience in an insane asylum makes her the perfect partner.

Time is running out, however, because Ruby's treatments are becoming increasingly debilitating. If Liam doesn't rescue her in time, she will be scheduled for a lobotomy.

Over a century later, when a descendant of Ruby's uncle is murdered, homicide detective Frank Mead soon realizes that the connection between Ruby's case and his current murder is inescapable. It won't be the first time Frank has solved a cold case from the distant past to resolve today's crime.

Digging into the Hunt family is no easy task. Each relative has something to hide and unless Frank can uncover the killer soon, there will be more murders. Using the latest in forensic technology, Frank enlists the help of digital photo expert, Maggie Thornhill, to match photos found in an old suitcase passed down by Ruby's descendants. Along with handwriting analysis and ballistics, Frank is able to piece together the puzzle that spans over a hundred years.

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Additional Information

Publisher
BookBaby
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Published on
Jun 18, 2018
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9781543935509
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, TIME EXPOSURE is an historical mystery framed by a modern story linking the past and present through current technology.

In present day Washington, D.C., renowned digital photographer Maggie Thornhill discovers the mummified remains of a human male behind a false wall in the cellar of her Georgetown brownstone. The brownstone has been in her family since famed Civil War photographer Joseph Thornhill owned it. Family history maintains that Joseph vanished shortly after Lincoln’s assassination. Buried with the corpse is a satchel containing Joseph’s field diary, letters, and a photograph of a civilian on the battlefield. Maggie believes she’s found her lost ancestor’s body. Now she must prove it’s him so the mystery can be put to rest.

In 1860 Joseph is a restless and dissatisfied portrait photographer for the Mathew Brady Gallery. When the Civil War erupts, he enlists as a spy for the U. S. Secret Service. Using his professional duties as cover, he investigates the deaths of several government agents. While shooting battle scenes, Joseph inadvertently photographs a civilian in the background, someone who should not have been there. By the time he suspects it’s the killer, the man is long gone.

The traitor has, in fact, been hired by unscrupulous industrialist, Samuel Lindsey, to kill the government agents in order to protect Lindsey’s munitions company from scrutiny. Joseph learns that Lindsey’s company not only produces sub-standard weapons for the North but also runs guns to the South.

As he pursues the killer, Joseph is wounded on the battlefield, captured, and tortured by Confederates but ultimately escapes. During his flight, he photographs proof of Lindsey’s treason, cases of guns stacked in a southern railroad depot, and brings the evidence to the President. Lincoln is assassinated, however, before he can act, and Joseph’s report is sealed by President Andrew Johnson.

Lindsey realizes that he must tie up loose ends to ensure that his guilt remains undiscovered. He directs his hired gun to kill the last remaining threat: Joseph Thornhill.

A century and a half later, Maggie discovers through DNA evidence that the body in her basement is not that of Joseph as she suspected. Through tenacious research, she locates the long-sealed portfolio that Joseph presented to Lincoln to document Lindsey’s treasonous activities. Maggie utilizes cutting-edge facial recognition software to digitally analyze Joseph’s photograph of the civilian. What she finds shocks her. Further research reveals that Lindsey’s company is still in business today and under investigation by the FBI. Maggie enlists the help of her future father-in-law and long-time family friend, Senator Fitz Wade to get inside information on that investigation. However, the Senator is less than forthcoming. She suspects he is hiding something or protecting someone, perhaps his son, Maggie’s fiancé, T.J. Wade.

She visits the Senator’s home to confront him but the Senator’s wife, Dorothy, blindsides her instead. Dorothy warns Maggie to drop her relentless investigation but with the help of a family photo, Maggie pulls together the missing pieces. Dorothy, in fact, owns the company, which true to tradition, is selling guns to enemies of the U.S. American soldiers are once again dying in the name of profit. But worse, Dorothy is the descendant of the civilian killer.

Now that Maggie knows the truth, she has to die.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A TNT ORIGINAL SERIES

“A first-rate tale of crime and punishment that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Caleb Carr’s rich period thriller takes us back to the moment in history when the modern idea of the serial killer became available to us.”—The Detroit News

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

Praise for The Alienist

“[A] delicious premise . . . Its settings and characterizations are much more sophisticated than the run-of-the-mill thrillers that line the shelves in bookstores.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Mesmerizing.”—Detroit Free Press

“The method of the hunt and the disparate team of hunters lift the tale beyond the level of a good thriller—way beyond. . . . A remarkable combination of historical novel and psychological thriller.”—The Buffalo News

“Engrossing.”—Newsweek

“A ripsnorter of a plot . . . a fine dark ride.”—The Arizona Daily Star

“Remarkable . . . The reader is taken on a whirlwind tour of the Gilded Age metropolis, climbing up tenement stairs, scrambling across rooftops, and witnessing midnight autopsies. . . . A breathtaking, finely crafted mystery.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch 

“Gripping, atmospheric . . . intelligent and entertaining.”—USA Today

“A high-spirited, charged-up and unfailingly smart thriller.”—Los Angeles Times

“Keeps readers turning pages well past their bedtime.”—San Francisco Chronicle 

“Harrowing, fascinating . . . will please fans of Ragtime and The Silence of the Lambs.”—The Flint Journal
Winner of the “2014 San Diego Book Awards for Best Published Mystery, Sisters in Crime.”

Pure Lies is a story about two women, separated by three centuries but connected by a legacy of greed, depravity and deceit--a legacy which threatens to make them both victims of the Salem witch trials. 1692, Salem, Massachusetts Born in a time and place of fierce religious fervor, 16-year old Felicity Dale has only endless church meetings and the drudgery of chores to look forward to. When her friends begin accusing neighbors of witchcraft, she fears the devil is in Salem. By chance, however, she discovers that the accusations of her “afflicted” friends are false. What had begun as a youthful diversion has been twisted through seduction and blackmail by powerful men into a conspiracy for profit. Nineteen people will pay with their lives. Today, Washington, D.C. Maggie Thornhill is a renowned digital photographer in Georgetown who possesses a passion for history. As her Ph.D. dissertation, Maggie takes on a project to electronically archive the original documents from the Salem witch trials. She observes discrepancies in the handwriting of the magistrate’s signature on certain land deed transfers -- land that belonged to the witches. When a professor studying the documents is murdered, she begins to suspect that the trials and hangings were a result of simple mortal greed not religious superstition. Using digital technology, Maggie links the past with the present. Clues from an ancient poem lead her to a diary written by a young woman in Salem, 1692. As she reads the fragile pages, Maggie feels a powerful bond with the teenager. Felicity Dale had the courage to sacrifice her life in order to save her soul. Now, more than three hundred years later, Maggie must stay alive long enough to bring Felicity’s story -- and the truth about the Salem witch trials, to light.

Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, TIME EXPOSURE is an historical mystery framed by a modern story linking the past and present through current technology.

In present day Washington, D.C., renowned digital photographer Maggie Thornhill discovers the mummified remains of a human male behind a false wall in the cellar of her Georgetown brownstone. The brownstone has been in her family since famed Civil War photographer Joseph Thornhill owned it. Family history maintains that Joseph vanished shortly after Lincoln’s assassination. Buried with the corpse is a satchel containing Joseph’s field diary, letters, and a photograph of a civilian on the battlefield. Maggie believes she’s found her lost ancestor’s body. Now she must prove it’s him so the mystery can be put to rest.

In 1860 Joseph is a restless and dissatisfied portrait photographer for the Mathew Brady Gallery. When the Civil War erupts, he enlists as a spy for the U. S. Secret Service. Using his professional duties as cover, he investigates the deaths of several government agents. While shooting battle scenes, Joseph inadvertently photographs a civilian in the background, someone who should not have been there. By the time he suspects it’s the killer, the man is long gone.

The traitor has, in fact, been hired by unscrupulous industrialist, Samuel Lindsey, to kill the government agents in order to protect Lindsey’s munitions company from scrutiny. Joseph learns that Lindsey’s company not only produces sub-standard weapons for the North but also runs guns to the South.

As he pursues the killer, Joseph is wounded on the battlefield, captured, and tortured by Confederates but ultimately escapes. During his flight, he photographs proof of Lindsey’s treason, cases of guns stacked in a southern railroad depot, and brings the evidence to the President. Lincoln is assassinated, however, before he can act, and Joseph’s report is sealed by President Andrew Johnson.

Lindsey realizes that he must tie up loose ends to ensure that his guilt remains undiscovered. He directs his hired gun to kill the last remaining threat: Joseph Thornhill.

A century and a half later, Maggie discovers through DNA evidence that the body in her basement is not that of Joseph as she suspected. Through tenacious research, she locates the long-sealed portfolio that Joseph presented to Lincoln to document Lindsey’s treasonous activities. Maggie utilizes cutting-edge facial recognition software to digitally analyze Joseph’s photograph of the civilian. What she finds shocks her. Further research reveals that Lindsey’s company is still in business today and under investigation by the FBI. Maggie enlists the help of her future father-in-law and long-time family friend, Senator Fitz Wade to get inside information on that investigation. However, the Senator is less than forthcoming. She suspects he is hiding something or protecting someone, perhaps his son, Maggie’s fiancé, T.J. Wade.

She visits the Senator’s home to confront him but the Senator’s wife, Dorothy, blindsides her instead. Dorothy warns Maggie to drop her relentless investigation but with the help of a family photo, Maggie pulls together the missing pieces. Dorothy, in fact, owns the company, which true to tradition, is selling guns to enemies of the U.S. American soldiers are once again dying in the name of profit. But worse, Dorothy is the descendant of the civilian killer.

Now that Maggie knows the truth, she has to die.

When a young reporter is pushed from a ninth story window in Greenwich Village, NYPD Homicide Lieutenant Frank Mead soon connects the case to a murder that took place at the same site a hundred years earlier, during the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Following the shattering suicide of his wife seven years ago, Mead is back after a self-imposed estrangement from NYPD and his daughter, Amanda. He is determined to make up for the past and forge a new relationship with her despite her active resistance. His first case is the death of the reporter who was writing a commemorative story on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911-- the worst disaster in the City’s history until 9-11. Frank learns that the murder scene is the very window from which scores of workers leaped to their death to escape burning alive.

Frank’s great grandfather, Cormac Mead, a member of the NYPD in 1911, is the first of a long line of NYPD Mead cops. His wife, Frank’s great grandmother, Fiona, works at the Triangle. She begins as a seamstress and soon becomes aware of the hazardous working conditions of the garment industry. Fiona and Cormac argue about worker’s rights and, because of his position on the police force and ties with City Hall, Cormac forbids her involvement in the Women’s League Union. Fiona, however, has a mind of her own, and continues to meet with women’s rights advocates.

Since Fiona can read and write, she’s promoted to an office position at the Triangle. There she unwittingly discovers a pattern of insurance fraud and arson perpetrated by the owners. About to reveal the truth concerning the latest arson scheme, she is silenced with a bullet by a thug hired by the Triangle owners. The killer then deliberately sets the fire to cover up her murder. Horrifically, it also kills145 of her co-workers.

Cormac arrives at the scene of the Triangle inferno. He finds Fiona among the bodies on the pavement and discovers that, besides burns and breaks from the fall, she’s been shot in the back at close range. Because of political pressure from Tammany Hall, Cormac is never able to officially open a homicide case. However, through his own private investigation of the remains of the fire and the post-mortem he conducts secretly on his wife’s body (removing and preserving the bullet), he edges close to the truth. Being a policeman first and foremost, he pushes past his grief to collect evidence and construct an unofficial police “murder book.” For years he attempts to find his wife’s killer but forensic science is in its infancy and he turns up no viable proof.

One hundred years later, Frank learns that his daughter is a close friend of the murdered young reporter and, in fact, is helping her with the Triangle piece. When Amanda turns up missing, Frank has a new and urgent personal reason to find today’s killer. As he scours his daughter’s computer for clues to her whereabouts, he finds Cormac’s notes, diagrams, photographs, and the actual blood-encrusted bullet that killed Fiona. Amanda even has the “murder book.”

The investigation leads Frank to the heart of the NYPD, a corrupt and powerful machine that Cormac Mead found himself in a hundred years ago. The clues point to one man at the top--First Deputy Commissioner, whose past like Frank’s, is tied directly to the murder at the Triangle. The Commissioner enlists the help of a fellow cop, Luis Santiago, to save his department from scandal and protect his family from disgrace. To do this Santiago must “kill the Triangle story.” Santiago, a loose cannon with an agenda of his own, kills the story teller instead, and sets in motion a chain that jeopardizes Frank’s family.

Relentless like his great grandfather and the other two other NYPD Meads before him, Frank will let nothing stand in his way to find his daughter and track down the reporter’s killer. In doing so, he also resolves the century-old mystery of his great grandmother’s murder.

Digital photographer Maggie Thornhill has been asked to do the impossible. Authenticate a Van Gogh painting, missing since World War II, by simply using a photograph. The challenge is presented to her by her long-time friend, Ingrid Rettke. When Ingrid is murdered, Maggie makes it her mission to analyze the photograph, find the painting and in doing so, track down the killer.

The photograph in question was passed down to Ingrid by her grandfather, Klaus Rettke. Maggie learns that Rettke was a key member of the German ERR, the Nazi organization appointed to confiscate art from the Jews. Obscure references in Klaus Rettke’s diary convince her that Rettke stole the painting from the Nazis.

Maggie works with homicide detective, Frank Mead, and two art experts, Emil Kahn and Henri Benoit, to track down the painting and the killer. Complicating her life, Maggie’s in the middle of a divorce, she is attracted to Mead, but also to Henri, who tries to seduce her.

She develops a software program to match certain key criteria of known Van Gogh paintings with those of the painting in the photograph. However, even using the latest digital photography methods, authentication of a painting must rely heavily on the word of experts and the provenance, or history, of the work.

Maggie heads to Paris to trace Rettke’s footsteps, hoping they’ll lead to the lost Van Gogh. After piecing together all her clues, she now believes there were actually four paintings: an original and three forgeries. She begins to fear for her life when one of those copies comes to light and its owner is murdered.

Encountering deception within deception in the high-stakes art world, she peels the layers back to reveal not one, but two killers. Both art experts have killed for the painting. Now one is dead and the other intends to kill Maggie. To stay alive, she reveals that she has the genuine Van Gogh. Now she must protect the precious painting . . . and herself from the killer.

Winner of the “2014 San Diego Book Awards for Best Published Mystery, Sisters in Crime.”

Pure Lies is a story about two women, separated by three centuries but connected by a legacy of greed, depravity and deceit--a legacy which threatens to make them both victims of the Salem witch trials. 1692, Salem, Massachusetts Born in a time and place of fierce religious fervor, 16-year old Felicity Dale has only endless church meetings and the drudgery of chores to look forward to. When her friends begin accusing neighbors of witchcraft, she fears the devil is in Salem. By chance, however, she discovers that the accusations of her “afflicted” friends are false. What had begun as a youthful diversion has been twisted through seduction and blackmail by powerful men into a conspiracy for profit. Nineteen people will pay with their lives. Today, Washington, D.C. Maggie Thornhill is a renowned digital photographer in Georgetown who possesses a passion for history. As her Ph.D. dissertation, Maggie takes on a project to electronically archive the original documents from the Salem witch trials. She observes discrepancies in the handwriting of the magistrate’s signature on certain land deed transfers -- land that belonged to the witches. When a professor studying the documents is murdered, she begins to suspect that the trials and hangings were a result of simple mortal greed not religious superstition. Using digital technology, Maggie links the past with the present. Clues from an ancient poem lead her to a diary written by a young woman in Salem, 1692. As she reads the fragile pages, Maggie feels a powerful bond with the teenager. Felicity Dale had the courage to sacrifice her life in order to save her soul. Now, more than three hundred years later, Maggie must stay alive long enough to bring Felicity’s story -- and the truth about the Salem witch trials, to light.

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