PRESS RELEASE -- Author Ron Franscell won two gold medals in True Crime for his atmospheric 2007 true-crime "FALL: The Rape and Murder of Innocence in a Small Town" (New Horizon Press) during BookExpo America in Los Angeles Friday night.
One was awarded by the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and the second by Foreword Magazine. Both ceremonies were held Friday in conjunction with BEA.
"FALL" is part true crime, part memoir about the monstrous 1973 abduction, rape and murder of two of the author's childhood friends in the small town where they lived, and it examines why the crime remains an open wound there 35 years later. Departing from the genre's usual reportorial style, "FALL" was hailed by true-crime legend Ann Rule, "Helter Skelter" author Vincent Bugliosi and media critics as a direct literary descendant of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."
St. Martin's recently released the paperback edition of "FALL" under the new title, "The Darkest Night." The paperback has been in the Top 10 True Crime books at Amazon.com since it was published in March.
"This book exploring the lives and horrid deaths of two friends was difficult to write," Franscell, a veteran journalist, said after thee awards were announced. "But somewhere in their tragic stories is a beacon for the new world we occupy. From a very dark night, some light. This award belongs to them."
The silver medal was awarded to "The Case Against Lucky Luciano," by Ellen Poulsen (Clinton Cook Publishing) and "Black Gangsters of Chicago," by Ron Chepesiuk (Barricade Books).
The bronze went to "The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories," by Elizabeth A. De Wolfe (Kent State University Press) and "Hunting the American Terrorist," by Terry Turchie and Kathleen Puckett (History Publishing Co.)
IPPY is the colloqiual name given to the Independent Publishers Book Awards. This year's contest attracted 3,175 total entries, with over 2,500 entries in the national categories and over 600 entries in the regional competition.