A Penny for the Hangman

A Penny for the Han#13A688DeBook: Random House/Alibi, 2014  ISBN: 978-0-8041-7820-4

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Friday, March 13, 1959:  On a hot, sultry night in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, at a plantation manor house called Tamarind, two wealthy couples and a West Indian housekeeper were killed in an act of violence that made front-page headlines and shocked the world. The suspects: the couples’ teenage sons. Rodney Harper, 15, and Wulfgar Anderman, 14, were tried as adults and sentenced to life in separate prisons. Released after many years, they disappeared from view, but not from memory. As time passed, the Harper-Anderman murders became a legend to rival Leopold-Loeb and Parker-Hulme, a landmark among crimes committed by children.

But what really happened that night? Now, as a new movie opens to mark the 50th anniversary of the incident, a man claiming to be one of the two notorious boys is breaking his long silence. He has chosen Karen Tyler, an ambitious young New York journalist, to conduct the interview. He promises to tell Karen “the truth behind the lies” surrounding the case, but she must go to the Virgin Islands to get the story.

Friday, March 13, 2009:  On Hangman Cay, a tiny, storm-swept isle far from civilization, Karen Tyler finds a career-making story—but she might not live to tell it. Because the shocking secret behind the infamous atrocities has remained carefully hidden all these years. And the killing isn’t over yet.

Praise for A Penny for the Hangman

“Tom Savage spins a web of suspense into this tale of far-off climes, interweaving letters, newspaper accounts, and diary fragments for a pulled-from-the-headlines feel. In Cold Blood meets ‘The Most Dangerous Game,’ A Penny for the Hangman is a predator-and-prey chase that takes the reader to a tropical paradise, and reveals the steaming underbelly it hides.”—JENNY MILCHMAN, award-winning author of Cover of Snow