15 GOTHIC STREET
Episode One: Primitives
The First Installment in a New Byliner Serial
by Bestselling True-Crime Master Joe McGinniss
August 29, 2012—San Francisco, CA— Imagine Law & Order set in Lake Wobegon: murder, shootings, arson, drug deals, theft, and more, all taking place against a backdrop of small-town charm and civility. This is the world of 15 Gothic Street, a new Byliner Serial by bestselling author Joe McGinniss (The Selling of the President, Fatal Vision, Going to Extremes). The first installment in the series, Primitives, is being published today by Byliner as an e-book available in all digital storefronts. The series is about crime and courtroom justice in a picture-perfect corner of New England. Unlike prime-time television, however, everything that happens at 15 Gothic Street is all too real.
A master of the true-crime narrative, Joe McGinnis tells the story of life in and out of an American courthouse over the course of a tumultuous yet typical year. In this absorbing first episode, McGinniss follows a lurid case of statutory rape involving the beloved director of a community theater and the young protégés he allegedly abused for years on end. Could this devoted family man really have committed such vile crimes and gotten away with it for so long? Were these young women on the witness stand telling the truth or were they, in the words of the defense attorney, merely vindictive “little actresses”? McGinniss sat in the courtroom day after day as the disturbing testimony piled up.
Unsavory as it was, this case was just one of many gritty dramas that play out daily in the Hampshire County Courthouse. This stately granite building sits at the center of beautiful Northampton, Massachusetts, home of Smith College and Calvin Coolidge and aptly nicknamed “Paradise City.” But even in paradise, there’s trouble. The worst of these troubles find their way to 15 Gothic Street, where they are laid bare every day, Monday through Friday. McGinniss’s yearlong odyssey through this land of miscreants, lawyers, judges, reporters, and opinionated citizenry is proof that bad behavior always thrives in the places where you least expect it.
Later this fall, 15 Gothic Street will continue with the second episode, The Human Circus, featuring a docket of new and familiar characters and equally gripping cases.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Over the course of forty years, Joe McGinniss has written dozens of magazine articles and published twelve books, eleven of them nonfiction. In every decade of his unconventional career, one of his books has become a classic: The Selling of the President; Going to Extremes; Fatal Vision; and The Miracle of Castel di Sangro. He is also the author of The Dream Team, Blind Faith, Cruel Doubt, and The Last Brother. A new print edition and the first e-book edition of Fatal Vision have just been released by Signet/Penguin Group. In September, Byliner Classics will release a new e-book edition of The Selling of the President, McGinniss’s celebrated story of the 1968 presidential campaign and the packaging of Richard Nixon.
ABOUT BYLINER: Byliner publishes compelling works of original fiction and nonfiction written to be read in a single sitting. Among its bestselling titles are Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car, William T. Vollmann’s Into the Forbidden Zone, Taylor Branch’s The Cartel, and Nick Hornby’s Everyone’s Reading Bastard. The companion website, Byliner.com, features curated archives of the best fiction and nonfiction writing and allows readers to easily find, share, and buy new and classic stories by their favorite authors.
15 Gothic Street: Primitives will be available August 29, 2012, for $2.99 as a Quick Read in Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at BarnesAndNoble.com, a Short Read at Kobo, in the Amazon Kindle store, and at Google Play.