The Florida Writers Association has named the winners of its annual Royal Palm Literary Awards. Among them are two thrillers featuring New Jersey Lawyer Jack Scully. The Hitman’s Lover won the second-place award in the Published Thriller/Suspense category; while Grind His Bones took the third-place award for an unpublished Thriller/Suspense novel. Here are brief synopses of the two novels, both written by Richard Newell Smith:
The Hitman’s Lover
After Jack Scully’s Aunt Maude guns down a policeman and claims he was actually a hitman, the young lawyer finds himself battling for his life against a quartet of crooked cops. Chief among them is the charming Tommy McGann, who is squiring Mafia Princess Angela D’Annunzio. Scully zeros in on McGann. Then McGann turns up dead, burnt to a crisp. But is the body really McGann’s? Scully learns the truth when he sets a trap for the crooked cops and gets caught in his own snare. A fiery escape leads Scully to what he’s wanted all along, the luscious Angela D’Annunzio – and he follows her blindly into the final betrayal.
Grind His Bones
For Jack Scully, pit bulls and sociopaths aren’t half as obnoxious as his cousin Hughie. Now he’s risking his life to save Hughie from being framed for a double murder. The frame-up looks perfect until Scully begins picking it apart. To save themselves, the plotters kill off potential witnesses – and kidnap Scully’s girlfriend Diane. For Scully, time is running out, and his only hope of saving Diane is to persuade Cat Dolan, a high-priced hooker, to help him. But the Cat has already sold both body and soul and sees Scully as nothing more than a threat to her dreams of sudden wealth.
Grind His Bones will be published later this year.