Florida has become the center of all things weird, from gator-eating snakes to causeway cannibals, and now a novel has taken the state to the level of X-Files and Fringe capers.
Award-winning South Florida journalist Brian Bandell released the science fiction thriller Mute with Silver Leaf Books. It’s filled with made-in-Florida moments, like a manatee chomping down on a boater, a gator stealing a boat and dolphins demolishing a pier. Why are the animals acting so strange? They are downright mild compared to some of the human characters in the book.
Mute follows detective Monique “Moni” Williams, who has never lived an easy life. With an abusive ex-con father, a two-timing, pistol-wielding ex-boyfriend and a racist boss, it’s hard to see how things could possibly get more difficult for her. After she meets a child that she bonds with, Moni must protect the girl from a mysterious threat stalking everyone near the Indian River Lagoon.
A serial killer is on the loose on Florida’s Space Coast, and Moni has been put in charge of the key witness in the biggest case of her life: an eight-year-old girl called Mariella. The child has gone mute after losing both her parents one harrowing night. Now, Moni struggles to protect the child and break her silence, while more reports of inexplicable deaths and animals with eerie purple eyes pile up. Her bond with the child is tested by a police force demanding answers. What does the lagoon’s rotten stench and bizarre animal behavior have to do with a mute little girl? Can Moni save Mariella from what lurks along the water? Who is really facing the most danger?
Mute is available exclusively as an ebook on Amazon Kindle. The novel is part of the lending library on Amazon Prime through September. It will be expanded to other electronic platforms later.
About the author
What’s the only subject gorier than murder? Try covering business in Florida during a recession. Brian Bandell is a reporter at The South Florida Business Journal covering America’s most beloved industry: banking. He has won 10 awards from the Florida Press Club, including first place in both business writing and government reporting. He received another 10 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including a first place for business enterprise reporting in the Southeast U.S. He received a B.S. in communication from the University of Miami. Brian grew up on Florida's Space Coast.