Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators. He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves. Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara.
Thirteen (13) of his Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. Zurl’s first full-length novel, A NEW PROSPECT, was named best mystery at the 2011 Indie Book Awards, is currently a finalist in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, and was nominated for a Montaigne Medal. His second novel, A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT, is available in hardcover and paperback with eBooks coming soon.
What does a good cop do when his name and phone number is found in the pocket of a dead mobster from his past? Does he cooperate with the Internal Affairs investigator who wants to charge him with murder, but appears to have an ulterior motive?
Does he launch his own investigation into this murder from another jurisdiction to clear his name and find the real killer? Does learning that two former enemies have put a contract on his life complicate matters?
On a cloudy Thursday in April, Detective Lieutenant Sam Jenkins retired from a very large and overworked police department in New York.
The next day, he and his wife, Kate, closed the sale on their Long Island home, put their old Scottish terrier, Bitsey, in the car, and drove to East Tennessee. They had vacationed there several times and purchased land with a view on the peaceful side of the Smoky Mountains.
In retirement, they planned to travel and take advantage of a slower lifestyle. But that didn't last. Kate took on several volunteer jobs, and Sam, bought a mid-life crisis car, a restored 1967 Austin-Healy 3000. Then he created the ultimate vegetable garden.
After years of relative idleness, Jenkins realized the missing element in his life was the adrenalin kick he got from being a cop. Coincidentally, the neighboring town of Prospect began looking for a new police chief. It was a match made in heaven--well almost.
Sam Jenkins never thought about being a fish out of water during the twenty years he spent solving crimes in New York. But things change, and after retiring to Tennessee, he gets that feeling. Jenkins becomes a cop again and is thrown headlong into a murder investigation and a steaming kettle of fish, down-home style. The victim, Cecil Lovejoy, couldn't have deserved it more. His death was the inexorable result of years misspent and appears to be no great loss, except the prime suspect is Sam's personal friend. Jenkins' abilities are attacked when Lovejoy's influential widow urges politicians to reassign the case to state investigators. Feeling like "a pork chop at a bar mitzvah" in his new workplace, Sam suspects something isn't kosher when the family tries to force him out of the picture. In true Jenkins style, Sam turns common police practice on its ear to insure an innocent man doesn't fall prey to an imperfect system and the guilty party receives appropriate justice. A NEW PROSPECT takes the reader through a New South resolutely clinging to its past and traditional way of keeping family business strictly within the family.