The Red Hand

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

Michael Stephen Daigle

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Ironton, N.J. is hard luck industrial city plagued by corrupt politicians, and in THE RED HAND faces what the medical examiner calls "an experiment in death." Nine women are killed as the story unfolds and new Detective Frank Nagler is assigned to the case. It is the ultimate on-the-job training.



Short Summary

The fourth murder victim is discovered at the Ironton, N.J. train station and new Detective Frank Nagler is faced with connecting that new death with at least three others; soon he is faced with the disappearance of two older woman and the killings spin out of control.

With the killer identified, Nagler chases him through the city, and captures him, weighed down by the death of his wife. The killer left his mark (The Red Hand) on a shed across from their home. The story ends with Nagler releasing his grief with a sledge hammer as he destroys the shed.


Ironton, N.J.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Other

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Nudity, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Frank Nagler

Age: 23-24

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Complex,Engaging,Faithful,Modest,Insecure,Honorable,Selfless,Lone Wolf

Additional Character Details

Name: Charlie Adams

Age: 15

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Criminal,Villainous,Narcisstic,Greedy,Lone Wolf,Skillful,Power Hungry,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Martha Nagler

Age: 22-23

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Sexy,Blunt,Heroic,Gracious,Honorable,Seductive,Unapologetic,Funny,Romantic,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: Mayor Howard Newton

Age: 60s

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Criminal,Decisive,Engaging,Greedy,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry,Skillful,Secretive,Unapologetic

Development Pitch

The Frank Nagler Mysteries, (THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY (2014); A GAME CALLED DEAD (2016), THE WEIGHT OF LIVING (2017), and THE RED HAND, (2019)) tell the tale of Ironton, N.J. Police Detective Frank Nagler from his early days on the department to his middle-aged career. In the early books, Nagler is seen as a broken-hearted, hard soul, trying to (still ) get over the death in her 20s of his wife, Martha. She died while he was working a case that led to the discovery of a serial killer in Ironton. Nagler breaks the case, but it seems that the case broke him. Ironton is an old city that once was an industrial center. Nagler's family worked in the mills and mines that provided the econiomic power, but were ground down by the collapse that followed. He remembers, and as he does so, understands how politicians and corrupt business owners ran the city into the ground. Nagler is called the last honest man. In THE RED HAND, the beginnings of all this are mostly explained. Nagler becomes hardened against the corruption, is angered by the mindlessness of the killings, and torn by the chance that his wife could have been a victim. Their story is sweet and endearing, the antidote to the grimness of the murders. Ironton is a city seeking redemption and release; Nagler provides that with the arrest of the killer, but at a heavy personal cost.

About The Author

Michael Stephen Daigle is a former journalist and the author of the four-book Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Red Hand" is a prequel to the series and sets in place the hardscrabble city of Ironton, N.J., the heartbreak of Det. Frank Nagler's life as a young detective who must juggle the needs of his dying wife, and the need to solve nine murders. His heart is in one place and his mind is in another. The Nagler mysteries are stark, dark and involving.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Imzadi Publishing, Tulsa, OK

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available



β€’ ISBN-10: 1944653198