“A Ghostly Shade of Pale,” Merle Temple’s New Novel of the South Now Available

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Criminal Minds’ Jim Clemente says, “Merle Temple is a Great Storyteller.”

"Captures the uniqueness of those times. Parallels of truth and fiction are intriguing." Dr. Chester Quarles, Author-A Pause in Terror.

The history files on a bygone era are ripped open and rewritten in Merle Temple’s new novel, A Ghostly Shade of Pale. Violent and dark conflicts along placid, jasmine-scented Mississippi deltas unfold in games of murder and betrayal in the 1970s where the temporal is intersected by the Supernatural. Jim Clemente of the TV show, Criminal Minds, says “Ghostly is a crime story as literature. Merle Temple is a great storyteller, writing to all of your senses. He weaves a story so detailed and complex, that the reader is immersed in the feeling of absolute reality.”

Michael Parker comes of age as the tranquility of the old South is shattered by civil unrest, the Vietnam War, and a wave of drug abuse that brings President Nixon’s “War on Drugs” to his front door. He enters a world he doesn’t understand as an undercover agent for a new state drug agency, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN). A chain of events unfolds that leads him to become an unlikely player in a game of international intrigue and a clandestine struggle for the soul of America. Dr. Chester Quarles of Ole Miss, author of Terrorism, Avoidance and Survival, says “(Former MBN Captain) Temple has captured the uniqueness of those times as only an eyewitness could report. The parallels of truth and fiction are intriguing.”

With eyes so red they appear to bleed, a ghostly pale Satanist becomes Michael's obsession. His tormentor, a double agent who manipulates American and Soviet agents, leaves a trail of bodies across the South. Rural airfields become launching pads for mercenary pilots hired by rogue intelligence agents to smuggle guns into Central America and drugs into the United States to fund black operations, shaping what they call the "Real America." An uneasy and complex alliance between these shadowy figures, organized crime bosses, and corrupt politicians form a point of congruency where Fredrick indulges his madness, slimy Mississippi politicians nurture their deviancy, and snipers ambush Michael and his agents on frozen fields of regret.

The Dixie Mafia tries to kill Michael, mob lawyers try to bribe him, and the Bureau of Narcotics is infiltrated and compromised as Fredrick stalks the love of Michael’s life who he views as Michael’s Achilles heel. Michael becomes the fly in the ointment to machinations he cannot begin to grasp until he is forced to fight for his life and the lives of those he loves. He discovers that his notion of right and wrong and of good and evil was all a lie, but that he is not alone.

Like many Southern Gothic writers, Temple taps the genre to comment on moral blindness and to deal with his own past through his flawed character, a cop-philosopher and modern paladin who examines the culture, cynicism and excesses of the 1970s as the national identity seems to unravel. Arlene Uslander, author of The Mystery of Fate, Common Coincidence or Divine Intervention, says “Ghostly left me breathless…suspenseful, fascinating characters and plot and the sheer beauty of the words…magic. I predict Ghostly is going to become a classic…”

A Ghostly Shade of Pale, now considered for a movie in Hollywood, can be purchased at merletemple.com, amazon.com, or by calling 1-800-627-3337.

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