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Ninth Square, a novel by Gorman Bechard


Product Description New Haven detective William Shute is having a bad day, one which begins in divorce court, then goes downhill from there. Investigating the death of a well-to-do man in one of the city’s sleazier no-tell motels, Shute discovers that not only was the victim a bigwig for the ultra conservative religious group, the Sons of God (60,000 members of which are about to descend upon New Haven for a pray-in at the Yale Bowl) . . . but he wasn’t a victim after all. Shute, however, can convince no one that the escort wanted for the killing, was in fact only protecting herself. And when other members of the Sons Of God meet similar bloody ends, it becomes a race against the clock to find the girl. Shute wants to save her . . . everyone else wants to put her away. Exploring the worlds of religious hypocrisy, internet prostitution, and made-for-order porn, while dreaming he just had the guts to strap back on his old Fender Tele to play some rock n’ roll, Shute discovers secrets about himself and the city that he never wanted or needed to know. But once those doors are open, there’s no turning back . . .

Reviews: “Bechard has hit one of the early home runs of the new year.”—The Dallas Morning News

“Compelling.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“It’s everything it should be: twisty, sexy, violent and taut. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, Bechard pulls yet another fast one on you.”—Andrew Klavan, bestselling author of Don’t Say a Word and Man and Wife --

Review From Publishers Weekly When Midori, a part-time hooker, vanishes from a New Haven motel into the night after stabbing a customer through the neck with a sharp pencil (he'd been praying for her salvation while trying to kill her), cop William Shute takes the case in this fast-paced noir caper from Bechard (Balls, etc.). The dead guy is Richard Deegan, family man and second in command of the Sons of God, a group of southern-based fundamentalists with strict morals and deep pockets due shortly to rally in the Connecticut city. When another Son of God gets similarly dispatched, the powers that be start looking for a serial killer. But Shute isn't so sure. For one thing, Deegan had an unhealthy interest in pornography, a hatred for hookers and most upsetting personally images of Shute's former wife on his laptop's hard drive with a bewildering series of sexual partners. A loose cannon in trouble with his superiors, Shute is haunted by his '53 Fender Telecaster (the first year of the legendary guitar's production), an object that represents all his adolescent dreams. Nonetheless, the suspense level remains high to the end, as Shute, suspended from the force, attracted to a female cop but entangled with one of the likable and believable hookers he encounters in the escort industry, strives to find all the answers. From Booklist A man apparently murdered by a prostitute turns out to be an influential figure in a religious group called the Sons of God, which is planning a major rally in New Haven, Connecticut. Among the victim's possessions are a lot of very odd and scary-looking tools. New Haven police detective William Shute must determine if the dead man was just a nutcase who was saintly by day and satanic by night or if more mayhem is on the way. Like the film 8mm, which plunged its hero into the dark and ugly world of "snuff films," this novel takes Shute deep into the underground of Internet prostitution. It's not a pretty place to spend a lot of time, but Bechard, author of the satirical Second Greatest Story Ever Told (1991), somehow manages to keep us from feeling too uncomfortable. Shute, the newly divorced computer-expert detective, is a fresh and most appealing character who deserves his own series. Fans of gritty, realistic mysteries with an edge should be well pleased. David Pitt

320 pages.

Novel will be signed by author Gorman Bechard

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