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When I finished my last novel, Teaser, almost seven years ago, I told everyone who would listen that for my next book, I wanted to find a story that "needed to be told."

Murder In the Combat Zone is that story. It's a narrative non-fiction account of the 1976 murder of Harvard football player Andrew Puopolo in Boston's Combat Zone and about the two trials that followed.

The frustration over court-ordered busing, racial tension and police corruption in Boston were at its peak when upwards of forty Harvard football players descended on the city's scandalous red-light district in what had become an end-of-the season ritual after the breakup dinner. When two of the football players were stabbed, one fatally, police arrested three black men at the scene, and the story made headlines in nearly every newspaper in the nation.

The story quickly became about privilege vs. poverty even though the victim, Andrew Puopolo, wasn't a privileged Harvard boy at all, but a talented athlete who had grown up in one of the city's poor white neighborhoods, the Italian North End. Ultimately, the story became about race.

The two trials would both be heavily influenced by the raw emotions of a city boiling with rage. Although the case would have a positive impact and make an important change in the way juries were chosen in Massachusetts, it would also leave the family and mourners of the victim to struggle with the very definition of justice.

Murder In the Combat Zone will be published by University Press of New England's ForeEdge imprint in 2018.

More information coming soon!


jan brogan

FINAL COPY, my earliest and favorite book, named one of the eight best mysteries of 2001 by The Drood Review of Mystery, is now available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook for only $2.99.

Final Copy, the mystery novel by Jan Brogan

A venture capitalist plunges to his death from a balcony at a biotechnology conference in Boston, and there is only one suspect, Kit Korbanics. If newspaper reporter Addy McNeil can secure the exclusive interview with him, she has a shot at regaining her career. Lucky or not so lucky for her, he is her ex-boyfriend, a man she's avoided for thirteen years.




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