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Novel: Machine City

Just before Christmas, police answer a murder call from the Connolly Village projects, a.k.a. “Conville.” The victim is unidentifiable, naked, bound, and set afire.

Machine City cover

“The Police Procedural has three supremos: Ed McBain, Joseph Wambaugh, and David Simon with Homicide. Clear a space on the shelf beside these masters. Jack Howland has written a superb novel that sits right alongside those maestros.”

Ken Bruen, Shamus-Award-winning author of The Guards and Killing the Tinkers

Working in his breakneck style, Detective Tom Rinne has a witness and suspect before anyone expects. When he identifies the victim, however, he reopens the case of a beautiful girl who vanished last summer – a girl with connections to the most powerful men in the city.

As Rinne dives back into the case, it’s only a minor political firestorm. When a young black suspect is shot, however, it spirals into a race war. Rinne finds himself first a scapegoat, then a suspect, then a fugitive. One woman can save him or sell him down the river – the only woman he ever loved. One simple device – the girl’s phone – can unravel the truth and expose secrets Rinne himself might prefer to keep hidden.

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