The year is 1986 and fall is declining into winter in a small Midwest city where ten-year-old Tina Brackett languishes in a coma caused by tainted fast food chicken produced by the Happy Farms Co. Raymond Locke, operative for the high-flying public relations firm that represents Happy Farms, is damage control central. But tragedy begets opportunity, and everyone is angling for a game-changing piece of the action surrounding Tina's impending death. Among the players in this Darwinian battle for survival are the District Attorney looking at a possible murder charge, a reporter working on the story of his career, a high-minded crusader against corporate greed and malfeasance, and Tina's enigmatic single parent, Ken Brackett. Pitted against these sordid foes, Raymond Locke is trying to save his job and his marriage, crumbling beneath the weight of caring for an autistic son. A noir journey into the heartland of America and the American psyche, Words to Die For evokes a shadowy, Mad Men-like world where the truth is less important than the spin.
Lynn Kostoff is a Professor of English and the Nellie Cooke Sparrow Writer-in-Residence at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. His other highly praised crime novels include A Choice of Nightmares (available from New Pulp Press), The Long Fall, and Late Rain. He has also taught at the University of Alabama, Indiana State University, and Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he received his MFA in fiction. His website is at www.lynnkostoff.com