An architect and planner can spot trouble in places the average person never looks. He knows the hidden infrastructure—the levees, river works, sewers, bridges and tunnels of our great city—and the unsung, unknown people who create and tend it. The main character in Peter Green’s debut mystery novel, Crimes of Design, Patrick MacKenna, is curious, persistent and willing to expose dishonesty, whatever the cost to his own reputation and prospects. These qualities that make him valuable to society are nonetheless a lightning rod for attack and they turn his potential allies into foes.
“He comes by it honestly,” says Peter Green, the author, who has been an architect and city planner for his entire career. “I’ve seen close calls, suspicious acts and outright skullduggery on the jobsite and throughout the network one has to negotiate to complete any project.” While most of the people he’s worked with are great, dedicated professionals, he says, there are enough bad apples to make it interesting and to inspire him to ask, “What if all of these bad things happened at the same time?” That’s been enough to lure him into writing mysteries.
When Architect Patrick MacKenna discovers the dead body of the city manager, an advocate for his dream project, at the project site, within hours he's a suspect in the murder. His difficulties are compounded by the location of his controversial project in the protected floodplain, the mysterious murder of his staunchest advocate and the relentless rains that threaten to cause a flood even higher than the Great Flood of 1993. And yet his guilt over the accidental death of his wife clouds his logical mind and blinds him to clues that might help him solve the case. He must confront a ruthless killer to save his career, his family and his very life. When he discovers the prime suspects are people he once trusted, he concludes that the greatest threat to the built infrastructure is not nature, but man himself.
A writer, architect and city planner reared in a family of journalists, Green backed into his pursuit of writing. He found his father’s 400 World War II letters, his humorous war stories, his mother’s writings and his family’s often hilarious doings too good a tale to keep to himself, so he launched a second career as a writer. After years of architectural work and proposal writing for his design firms, he went back to Washington University and earned a Certificate in Creative Writing and launched his writing career with Dad’s War with the United States Marines, James A. Rock & Co., Seaboard Press (Florence, SC), 2005. Awards include the Distinguished Service Award, St. Louis Post, Society of American Military Engineers, and a 2010 Robin Moore Thiess Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service from St. Louis Writers Guild. His new mystery, Crime of Design was by L & L Dreamspell (London, TX), May, 2012,
Green will be discussing and signing his book at several local venues during the month of July:
—Saturday July 7: Big Sleep Books, 1:00-3:00 p.m., 239 N. Euclid, Champagne reception, discussion and book signing
—Wednesday, July 11, 7:00 p.m., Left Bank Books, 339 N. Euclid: Reading, discussion and signing —Saturday, July 21, 1:00- 3:00 p.m. Sage Books, Frenchtown, St. Charles, 1128 N 2nd St ., Saint Charles, Book talks and signings with several St. Louis mystery writers — Peter Green, Judy Moresi, Claire Applewhite, Will Bereswill, and others.
More information and links to purchase the book can be found at his website: www.peterhgreen.com .