Little Altar Boy

John Guzlowski

On a snowy Thursday night in Chicago, there is a knock on Detective Hank Purcell's door. Sister Mary Philomena has seen something terrible at Saint Fidelis Church — a violation of all she holds sacred. The next Monday, she is found murdered in the convent basement, next to a furnace stuffed with old papers and photographs.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Kasva Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781948403153
Pages : 322
Dimensions : 8.5 X 5.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$14.95
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Overview
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On a snowy Thursday night in Chicago, there is a knock on Detective Hank Purcell’s door. Sister Mary Philomena has seen something terrible at Saint Fidelis Church — a violation of all she holds sacred.

The next Monday, she is found murdered in the convent basement, next to a furnace stuffed with old papers and photographs.

And Margaret, Hank’s teenage daughter, has disappeared.

Hank and his unconventional partner Marvin Bondarowicz try to force their way through a wall of ecclesiastical silence to find the killer, while their search for Margaret takes them from swank lakeside flats to drug dens to south-side basement blues clubs…and the snow keeps falling.

About The Author
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Born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, John Guzlowski came to America with his family as a Displaced Person in 1951. His parents had been Polish slave laborers in Nazi Germany during the war. Growing up in “Murdertown” — the tough immigrant neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago — he met hardware-store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned their dead horses, and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. In much of his work, Guzlowski remembers and honors the experiences and ultimate strength of these voiceless survivors.

An acclaimed poet, Guzlowski is also a respected teacher, literary critic, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. His recent poetry collection Echoes of Tattered Tongues won the 2017 Montaigne Medal of the Eric Hoffer Awards as one of the most thought-provoking books of the year.

Guzlowski received his BA in English Literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and his MA and PhD in English from Purdue University. He is a Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Eastern Illinois University, and currently lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

REVIEWS
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The resolution of the crimes—including Margaret’s disappearance—brings little satisfaction to either the dogged detectives or the reader. This is strictly for those who prefer the darkest of hard-boiled fiction. 

- Publisher's Weekly

John Guzlowsks powerful Little Altar Boy centers on the fatal stabbing of a Chicago nun. Set in 1967, Mr. Guzlowskis latest takes place a decade after events in his equally memorable Suitcase Charlie, which also featured Windy City detective Hank Purcell and his partner Marvin Bondarowicz.

- Wall Street Journal

Dark, gripping, graphic, gritty... Little Altar Boy offers no easy answers. It's a realistic, hard-boiled, noir tale that deftly captures the diverse attitudes and emotions of the times. — Ray Walsh, Lansing State Journal

- Lansing State Journal

Little Altar Boy once again features Hank Purcell and Marvin Bondarowicz, whom we met in “Suitcase Charlie” and are happy to see again...  In the classic procedural that follows, the cops choke down their own cynicism to investigate a crime that officially doesn’t exist. — Marilyn Stasio

- New York Times

a vivid portrait of an earlier time

- Kirkus

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