“City of Blight,” by John Wingspread Howell, is the latest book release from No Frills Buffalo publishing company. A native of Buffalo who moved away for 31 years before returning home, Howell’s previous novels include “The Goddess Patrol,” “Naked in Church” and “St. Jude’s Gospel.
“ ‘City of Blight’ is a sort of Sopranos meets House of Cards on a local city level, with a great love story thrown in,” said the author. “There is political intrigue, conspiracy, psychological complexity and a story of lifelong — though mostly unrequited — love.”
Buffalo is a character in this story told from the point of view of Paul Cappellano, who comes back to his two loves after 40 years — Buffalo, the Queen City, and Nancy Paradise, former City Queen (Miss Buffalo) — and finds himself framed for the murder of one by the corrupt leaders of the other. His cause is taken up by a larger-than-life lawyer known as Francisca Lee Bailey, who defends her client by taking on a pervasive network of corruption in the city and trying her case primarily in the press. As the story unfolds, the scope and severity of this corruption, which includes a vast sex scandal, continues to amaze as bodies fall and careers implode.
Like his protagonist, Paul Cappellano in “City of Blight,” Buffalo is Howell’s first and most conflicted love. He now resides in the city with his wife Maria, and has three grown children, Heath, Ivy and Marivi.
Howell will also take part in “Writing for Buffalo: Local Authors and Local Stories,” from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. March 8 in Larkin Square, Buffalo. Please visit http://larkinsquare.com/author-series for details.
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