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Philip Hayward is an editor and writer living in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, an hour downstream from Alexandria, Virginia, where he lived for more than thirty years. He has been a staff editor of Air & Space/Smithsonian, Mid-Atlantic Country, and Lodging magazines. As a competitive rower with Alexandria Community Rowing, he medaled numerous times in sweep 8s and 4s and competed in the prestigious Head of the Charles River in Boston (although, unlike his protagonist, he never came close to winning it). He currently rows with the Southern Maryland Rowing Association.
A life-long reader, Phil enjoys nearly every genre of fiction and nonfiction – particularly history and science in the latter and novels in the former. His reading in the field of mysteries and thrillers ranges wide and deep, though in style he gravitates to the modern masters. He is a member of the Maryland Writers Association. Deadly Stroke is the first in the Kip Alexander/Port City series. Look for True Stroke in the near future.
On a dark and frigid February morning, an archaeologist drowns while rowing on the Potomac River. Contrary to official reports, his death was no accident, and only one person suspects the horrible truth – but not the terrifying litany of problems it will bring him.
Summoned home from a stellar run as an investigative reporter for the Washington Post to take over his family’s weekly newspaper, Kip Alexander festers with resentment at the interruption in his career. His lethargy quickly comes to an end when his friend and fellow rower drowns on the Potomac River. In the course of his news coverage, Alexander begins to connect the archaeologist’s death with a massive Defense Department relocation plan. With the help of the archaeologist’s beautiful but complicated assistant Alexander learns his friend may have died for a discovery certain to thwart the Pentagon – along with many in his community. The deeper the two investigate, the longer their list of suspects grows, as do Alexander’s misfortunes – family betrayal, arson, suicide, community backlash, and the loss of the woman for whom he has fallen.
Deadly Stroke takes readers into the lively worlds of competitive rowing, archaeology, and community newspaper publishing. Alexander must reconcile the three with the clash of commercial greed and unbending civic altruism. Characters abound: the cheerfully struggling staff of the Port City Beacon, its feuding family board of directors, the hard-partying Port City Rowing Club, an eccentric rival publisher, the widowed owner of a most unusual automobile graveyard, and a small-town corporate raider.
This is a story of not knowing what we’ve got until it’s gone. In answering the family summons, Alexander believes he has lost all that he has lived for. Instead, he learns it’s the opposite.