Rights offering detail :
A Necessary Hero
May 23, 2017
G. W. Kennedy
Fiction: Mystery/Crime
Chicago, 1942. Can a reclusive and cynical factory janitor prevent the IRA from changing history?

We are representing G. W. Kennedy and his novel, A Necessary Hero, a mystery.

With U.S participation in World War II getting underway, John Mackenzie Simmons III (Mack) is in a difficult position. His draft status is 4F. He has lost an eye in a drunk-driving accident two years earlier, transforming him into a self-proclaimed “one-eyed freak.”

The driver is Mack’s best friend and fellow University of Chicago grad student, Thomas Kilkenny. After the accident, Tommy suddenly joins the Army Air Corps, becoming a skilled pilot of a B-17 bomber.

Mack’s wealthy and powerful father John Mackenzie Simmons II (“Sim”) wants Mack to follow other 4Fs in their social circle into prestigious wartime jobs. Mack, who’s working as a night janitor at a defense plant, will have none of it. Even worse, from Sim’s viewpoint, all Mack’s fellow janitors are “Negroes.”

Sim orders Mack to a command-performance meeting at the Simmons’ Winnetka mansion and informs Mack that Thomas Kilkenny has died in combat in the Philippines. Tommy had made sure his crew bailed out, then crashed his burning plane into an enemy ship, thwarting a Japanese landing.
For Sim’s own tangled public and private purposes, he plans to turn Thomas Kilkenny into the war's first American hero. The problem is Tommy's father, the corrupt Chicago Alderman Robert “Blarney Bob” Kilkenny. If he’s involved in underworld deals hampering the war effort, the hero-plan will fail.
Sim coerces Mack into questioning the surviving members of Tommy’s family, including Janice Kilkenny—Tommy’s sister and Mack’s former lover—to uncover the truth about Blarney Bob’s criminal connections.

Mack struggles to carry out his father’s orders. Mack has to deal with his own doubts and fears, the murder of a shady detective, and Mack’s renewed love for Janice, as well as a plot hatched by the Irish Republican Army that can change the course of the war.

An alumnus of Rice University, with graduate degrees from Penn and Buffalo, G.W. Kennedy (Bill) was a college English professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. After leaving academia, Kennedy worked as an editor and communications manager for several Chicago companies. He has published a number of short stories as well as articles and essays, including “op-ed” pieces in the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of the Ben Barklee mysteries, Purpose Pitch, Dead Arm, and Save Situation.
Rights available:
Donna Eastman
Parkeast Literary Agency
fax: 386.446.5916
Offering #:
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