On a hot rainy summer night in Nassau, the Bahamas, in 1943, someone murdered Sir Harry Oakes, one of the richest men in the world, as he slept. When police found him the next morning, there were four wounds to his skull. His corpse had been abused, covered ritualistically with feathers and set on fire. The murder was perverse, horrific and jaded by anyone’s standards.
A few evenings later in New York City, the phone rang in the home of Alan Hynd, identified in that era by the NY Times as America’s highest paid true crime reporter. The Oakes case would send the writer, with a quarter of a century of experience covering murders, to the Bahamas in wartime. He would try to bring truth to a case that was littered with a colorful cast of international characters and which, in its resolution, became unique in the annals of true crime.
Ashes From A Burning Corpse is the fictionalized story of that writer’s coverage of the case – and how it changed his life forever. It is also a literary and cultural journey into New York and the colonial Bahamas of the World War Two era, a story touching upon Hemingway, Sinatra and FDR, big-shot film and Broadway producers, crooked cops, gangsters and a murder trial so big that it knocked the world war off the front pages.
Welcome to what is also a literary journey into true crime, politics, book publishing and magazine work in the World War Two era, with allusions to writers from Edmond Pearson to Scott Fitzgerald. Ashes is part of a trilogy titled An American True Crime Reporter in the 20th Century, three cases which were the centerpieces of a veteran real-life crime reporter’s legacy. The trilogy will also include first person novels on the original Charles Ponzi swindling case, The Pied Piper of Boston and the Charles Lindbergh kidnapping case, The Crimes of The Century.
Noel Hynd is the author of more than a dozen novels, originally published by Doubleday, Dial, Bantam, Tor, Kensington, Zondervan/HarperCollins, and currently, his own imprint, Red Cat Tales LLC Publishing of Los Angeles, California.
He has sold more than 7 million books worldwide, including hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, Literary Guild and digital editions. His best known titles in the espionage genre are Flowers From Berlin and Truman’s Spy. In the supernatural genre, his best known titles are Ghosts and Cemetery of Angeles.
Ingenious…Suspense fiction that stands out! – New York Times
Noel Hynd knows the ins and outs of Washington’s agencies both public and private. – Publishers Weekly
A few notches above the Ludlums and Clancys of the world. – Booklist
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