In Andrew Welsh-Huggins’ sixth Andy Hayes mystery, Judge Laura Porter fiercely guarded her privacy, and never more so than during her long-running—and long in the past—affair with disgraced quarterback-turned-private investigator Andy Hayes. Now she’s missing, disappeared just hours after she calls Andy out of the blue explaining she’s in trouble and needs his help.
In Fatal Judgment, a trail of clues leads Andy to a central Ohio swamp whose future lies in the judge’s hands as she weighs a lawsuit pitting environmentalists against developers. Soon Hayes encounters the case of another missing person, a young man who vanished without a trace in a different swamp two counties away. As he looks for links between the two disappearances, Hayes is led from Columbus to Cleveland, unearthing a history of secrets and betrayals threatening not just the judge but her family as well.
Along the way, Hayes is forced to confront a newly strained relationship with his oldest son, now a budding football star himself, and revisit his tumultuous days as a Cleveland Browns quarterback and the gridiron failures that haunt him to this day. In partnership with a female cop on her own quest for justice, Hayes rushes to find the judge, and the truth, before it’s too late.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins is a longtime criminal justice writer and editor with the Associated Press in Columbus. An expert on capital punishment, he’s authored No Winners Here Tonight, the definitive history of Ohio's death penalty, and Hatred at Home, about one of the country's first domestic terrorism cases. Welsh-Huggins has authored six Andy Hayes mysteries published by Swallow Press. With Akashic Books, he’s the editor of the upcoming Columbus Noir.
Welsh-Huggins appears at Gramercy Books in partnership with the Ohioana Book Festival.