a swallow press book

an empty grave

an andy hayes mystery

Private investigator Andy Hayes takes the assignment against his better judgment.

In 1979, a high-profile burglar shot a cop, was apprehended, and then disappeared without ever being prosecuted. Forty years later, after the wounded cop’s suicide, his son, Preston Campbell, is convinced there’s been a cover-up that allowed his father’s attacker to go free. At first, Hayes dismisses Campbell’s outlandish conspiracy theories. But when a mysterious Cold War connection to the burglar emerges, the investigation heats up, and Hayes discovers a series of deaths that seem to be connected, one way or another, to the missing criminal. Nothing seems to add up, though, and Hayes finds himself hurtling headlong down a decades-old path of deadly secrets.

In the midst of cracking the cold case, Hayes has another mystery to solve closer to home: What’s been troubling his younger son, Joe, and why is his ex-wife so eager to have the boy out of her house? Further complicating matters, Hayes learns that another private eye, the captivating but inscrutable Hillary Quinne, is also on the trail of the vanished burglar and needs Hayes’s help. As their professional and personal lives blur, Hayes wonders what he’s gotten himself into, and whether he really wants out.

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"I really enjoyed the mystery here. I was never quite sure what was going to happen next and what direction the book was going to take... Lots to like here.... pace, setting, character, story and length." - Col's Criminal Library

"Often violent, always stirring and profoundly affecting, “An Empty Grave” displays Welsh–Huggins at his creative and deft best as a talented practitioner of crime fiction at once dark and humane." - The Free Lance-Star

Listen to WOUB Culture’s conversation with Andrew Welsh-Huggins, "complete with adorable chirps from the author’s parakeets..."