Who killed seventeen-year-old Leah Marcus? Was it her boyfriend? The creepy pedophile who lived down the street? The mystery blonde woman in the neighborhood? Or was it someone else?
Leah Marcus was the seventeen-year-old daughter of a rich, white, Jewish power couple, the father a famous mass tort trial lawyer, the mother CEO of a non-profit corporation assisting the mentally ill. Leah was a piano-playing prodigy who dreamed of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon. Leah's boyfriend, Damon Allbright, was the star point guard at their high school, an excellent student gifted with an angelic singing voice and the African American son of the pastor at one of Cincinnati's major Baptist churches.
During the fourth day of Cincinnati's 2001 race riots, someone bludgeoned, bound, strangled and probably sexually assaulted Leah. Leah Marcus' death held the city spellbound during the spring and summer of 2001. Suspicion soon fell on Leah's boyfriend. After Damon's DNA is found in Leah's body, the investigators charged him with her rape and murder. Her murder, the alleged murder, of a beautiful, young white woman at the hands of a black man, gripped the city like so many crimes involving sex, race and class. Damon was tried for the offense.
Ten years later, the crime reporter for The Cincinnati Tribune who covered the crime and trial decided to re-investigate the murder and learn the truth behind the senseless killing. Her story is a tragedy in the tradition of Shakespeare.
And The River Runs Deep drills into the lives of two families set amidst the turbulent times of racial strife and the impending doom of 9/11.
A 2020 NIEA Best Book Awards Finalist in the category of crime fiction.
My sixth novel: Stand Your Ground -- a timely psychological mystery standing at the intersection of guns and race in America.