Late One Night
Published by: Dzanc Books
Release Date: May 10, 2016
On a night no one will ever forget, Della Black and three of her seven children are killed in a horrific fire in their trailer. As the surviving children are caught in the middle of a custody battle between their well-intentioned neighbor and their father and his pregnant mistress, new truths about what really happened the night of the fire come to light. When the fire marshal determines the cause – arson – rumors quickly circulate as the townspeople search for answers. Ronnie Black is the kind of man who can leave his wife and children for a younger woman, but is he capable of something more sinister?
Ronnie and his girlfriend, Brandi Tate, maintain his innocence – he’s a loving, caring father who wants to do everything he can to protect his family. But as the gossip continues, Ronnie feels his children (and, eventually, Brandi) pulling away from him. Soon enough, he finds himself at a crossroads – should he allow gossipmongers to seal his fate, or should he fight to prove that he’s not the monster people paint him to be?
In Late One Night, Lee Martin examines the devastating effect of rumors and the resilience of one family in the face of the ultimate tragedy.
“Award-winning novelist Martin (The Bright Forever, 2005) keeps readers on edge in this gripping tale of tragedy and the subsequent search for truth. When Della Black and three of her seven children are killed in a fire in their trailer on a bitter winter night, the citizens of Goldengate band together to help hers urviving children. As the fire is investigated and suspicious evidence is found, all eyes turn to Ronnie Black, Della’s estranged husband, who now liveswith his girlfriend, Brandi Tate. Ronnie has always been hot-tempered and impulsive, and his actions make him an easy suspect. But Ronnie is also a loving father, fiercely loyal to his children and determined to provide for them. As evidence against Ronnie mounts, his erratic behavior has everyone talking, even leading Brandi to question the innocence he steadfastly maintains. Martin weaves a story that puts the complexities of love on display. Not always sweet or everlasting, love is an immense power that influences our decisions and shapes our futures. Martin’s multifaceted tale of loss,suspicion, and suspense is thoroughly engaging.”
“Pulitzer-finalist Martin delivers a taut, satisfying mystery about people ‘bound by their stupidity and their love’. . . . The story masterfully explores adult desires and disappointments, the fierce love parents have for their children, and children’s yearning for familial bonds. . . . This is a compulsively readable novel about the bonds of family and community.”
“Riveting…a must read.”
—Christopher Purdy, WOSU All Sides Weekend Books
“In Late One Night, Lee Martin crafts a graceful and nuanced story of heartbreak, guilt, and reckoning driven by a small town's quest for justice after an arson fire claims a man's estranged wife and three children. Martin's brilliant characterization and command of language captivate the reader as the story unfolds, revealing lives worn thin by imperfect, desperate acts of love and survival.”
—The Kenyon Review
“In his latest novel, Late One Night, Lee Martin explores how a town unravels into gossip and accusations after a man's wife and three of his seven children die in a fire that destroys their mobile home. . . .if you're looking for a Father's Day gift for someone who loves to read, whether a loving father or a friend who always wishes they had a good one, Martin's work offers something special.”