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A Ghostly Shade of Pale
     

A Ghostly Shade of Pale

5.0 7
by Merle Temple
 

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The divergent elements of a Southern Gothic nightmare converge and occupy the same stage in A Ghostly Shade of Pale. History files on a bygone era are ripped open and rewritten in games of murder, betrayal, the macabre, and the supernatural.

Michael Parker comes of age as the tranquility of the old South is shattered in the 1960s by civil unrest, the

Overview

The divergent elements of a Southern Gothic nightmare converge and occupy the same stage in A Ghostly Shade of Pale. History files on a bygone era are ripped open and rewritten in games of murder, betrayal, the macabre, and the supernatural.

Michael Parker comes of age as the tranquility of the old South is shattered in the 1960s by civil unrest, the Vietnam War, and a wave of drug abuse that brings the war on drugs to his front door. Fresh out of Ole Miss, he joins the newly formed Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as President Nixon declares war on drugs in 1970, and enters a world he is not prepared for. He becomes an unlikely player in a game of international intrigue and a clandestine struggle for the soul of America.

The remote crop-duster airfields of Mississippi become launching pads for soldiers of fortune hired by intelligence agencies to smuggle guns into Central America. They return with drugs to fund black operations and shape what their employers call the "Real America." Intelligence agency rogues employ Fredrick, a murderous psychopath, to manipulate protests against the war and as a contract assassin who has no remorse. As he leaves a trail of bodies across the South, they realize too late that his loyalties are not to them or to the communists he also manipulates as a double agent, but to the voices in his head that speak to him incessantly.

An uneasy and complex alliance between these shadowy figures, organized crime bosses, and corrupt politicians form a matrix where Fredrick indulges his madness, slimy Mississippi politicians nurture their deviancy, and snipers ambush Michael and his agents on frozen fields of regret. A deadly game of cat and mouse threatens the life of Dixie Lee, the woman Michael loves, loses, and finds again as she washes down black beauties with champagne in the seamy Memphis nightclubs of the Dixie Mafia.

As he searches for an elusive peace and tries to resist the charms of his troubled lover, the underworld tries to kill him, mob lawyers who fail to bribe him die violent deaths, and the Bureau of Narcotics is infiltrated and compromised. Parker, a modern paladin in search of just causes and dragons to slay, is a cop-philosopher commenting on the world in which he travels as he awakens at the age of twenty-six to find that the whole of his life—the paradigm that he clung to with all of his might—his notion of right and wrong and of good and evil—was all a lie.

The plan to alter America filters down and corrupts government at all levels and claims the lives of those who could never know or imagine the origin of their demise. It all comes unraveled in the madness of Fredrick and the conflicted state police agent who unwittingly becomes the fly in the ointment to machinations he cannot begin to grasp. He is forced to fight for his life and the lives of those he loves against enemies seen and unseen, but finds that he is not alone.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Captures the South, the period in the 1970s...evocative of some of the great Southern writers...a taste and feeling for where you are... a lot of layers in a fascinating book."—Allison Hope Weiner, Media Mayhem, Beverly Hills.

“Merle Temple is a great storyteller, writing to all of your senses. He weaves a story so detailed and complex, yet beautifully sinister, that the reader is immersed in the feeling of absolute reality.”—Jim Clemente, Criminal Minds, Hollywood.

"Merle Temple’s title, A Ghostly Shade of Pale, is enough to send a shiver up my spine, something I normally shy away from, but I fell for his language as a fan of Southern fiction..The tone of the novel is part gothic, part mystery, part thriller and all stratagem, as we follow the rather naïve drug enforcement agent Michael Parker climbing the at times crooked career ladder in drug enforcement while simultaneously descending into a dangerous underground world. Temple has provided a very new twist on a time period he has the background and authority to talk about. It opens with a murder and doesn’t let go. I look forward to the sequel."—Gila Green, Israel, Author—King of the Class

“…the press is just beginning to jump on board to something that’s about to get as hot as a drug deal gone bad with automatic weapons and kilos of cocaine flying around. The book may be fiction but its writer is not. He’s lived the life and survived it – with his faith intact.”—Mark Stowers, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi.

“The drug war is on . . . and we should all be afraid. Merle Temple takes the reader into a 1960s world of violence and mystery, and creates characters that are chillingly sinister, especially the evil Fredrick, who may haunt your nightmares for a very long time. This story blends action with a literary style that only grows in the Deep South. Romance and brutality merge in this debut novel by a promising author. Not for the faint of heart.”—Adele Elliott, Real Media Radio.

“Temple’s first-hand knowledge of gun battles, drug deals gone bad, corrupt politicians, and law enforcement officials, makes the scenes and pages come to life.”—The Oxford Eagle.

“Suspense-driven…a compelling read from cover to cover…memories have their way with him so those raw emotions would surface and be laid bare on page after page of remembrances in order for his readers to feel what he felt…”—Southern Writer’s Magazine.

“Are you in search of a fascinating gift for your favorite reading enthusiast? Look no further than an offering by a Mississippi native who lays battered emotions bare for all to see. Kudos also to Merle Temple for drawing readers into an emotional story with using profanity or sex as a crutch.”—Town and Gown Magazine

“Through his engaging character and alter-ego, Michael Parker…Mr. Temple has woven together the elements of a powerful Mystery-Suspense that left this reader's heart pounding! —KB Schaller, Author, Gray Rainbow Journey.

“Temple has the ability to bring his readers to a very personal place, allowing them to resonate with him as an author and with characters in his novel…what an amazing story (he) has shared with his readers.”—The Daily Mississippian (Ole Miss).

“Gripping…”—Mississippi Magazine.

“The sheer beauty of the words…Magic!”—Arlene Uslander, Author, Mystery of Fate.

“He captures the times as only an eyewitness could. The parallels of truth and fiction are intriguing.”—Dr. Chester Quarles, Author, Terrorism, Avoidance and Survival.

“…a first class read. Temple exhibits a respect for the intelligence and imagination of his reader which is rare among today's authors. When you finish, you will know that this talented writer has escorted you through the maze of good and evil so that you are the richer for it.”—Thomas Coleman, Mississippi Appeals Court Judge (Retired).

“Terrific! Recommend it highly!”—Paul Rogers, WBZM, Orlando.

“Ghostly gives a clear and vivid history of the greed, crime, and corruption that was flourishing unchecked in Northeast MS in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Throughout the retelling of some struggles between good/bad, goodness/evil, and beauty/ugliness, Merle Temple is able to present a respect not only for the characters in the book, but even for the reader, that I have not experienced before in this type of literature. I highly recommend Ghostly and…look forward to the second part of the trilogy.”—Jan Ballard, Yarn Spinners Book Club

“Just finished reading A Ghostly Shade of Pale and was totally entranced with Merle Temple's description of the war on drugs. As one of those first Agents in the Bureau sent out to slay the dragon, all we had was a belief that we were the good guys. Merle was one of the few that had the fortitude and moral fiber to survive the danger and demands of the job. He lived the life of Michael and has transposed his experiences into a story where we can all feel the emotions and excitement of infiltrating the underworld. A truly riveting and compelling novel.”—Richard Todd, former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent.

“A fast-paced, succinct thriller. Set in the halcyon days of the late 60's - of Vietnam, free love and a tsunami of mind altering substances. It chronicles the rise of Michael Parker, from earnest, young Drug Enforcement Officer; and his journey through the subterranean world of the drug culture, to a wiser more cynical captain of his own team of dedicated soldiers in the war on drugs. His prose is fluid and engaging. This is a first novel to be proud of.”—Barbra-Lee Ricketts, Author, This is White Country, Australia.

“From part truths, part fiction, and personal emotions comes another Mississippi Literary Masterpiece, kudos to the Author....”—Mary Frances Mullen, Hattiesburg.

“Early Grisham good, raw stuff and pulls you in many directions. Merle Temple pulls you in and makes you feel every bead of sweat and every bit of tension in the room with Agent Michael Parker. It is truly fantastic!”—Dr. John Kenney, Tupelo.

“When I got my hands on this book, I had to read it right through. This is history that we all have to know.”—Father Ulf Sanned, Sweden

“The seamless descriptions let you experience every moment. He has a true skill of letting imagination and real life become one. A Ghostly Shade of Pale is hard to put down! May his true and authentic writing skills continue to inspire!”—Denise Minnard Campoli, French/Spanish Instructor, Boston, MA.

Criminal Minds, Hollywood - JIm Clemente
"Merle Temple is a great storyteller, writing to all of your senses. He weaves a story so detailed and complex, yet beautifully sinister, that the reader is immersed in the feeling of absolute reality.”—Jim Clemente, Criminal Minds, Hollywood.
Media Mayhem, Beverly Hills - Allison Hope Weiner
“Captures the South, the period in the 1970s...evocative of some of the great Southern writers...a taste and feeling for where you are... a lot of layers in a fascinating book."—Allison Hope Weiner, Media Mayhem, Beverly Hills.
Jackson Clarion-Ledger - Mark Stowers
“…the press is just beginning to jump on board to something that’s about to get as hot as a drug deal gone bad with automatic weapons and kilos of cocaine flying around. The book may be fiction but its writer is not. He’s lived the life and survived it – with his faith intact.”—Mark Stowers, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi.
Southern Writers Magazine - Susan Reichert
“Suspense-driven…a compelling read from cover to cover…memories have their way with him so those raw emotions would surface and be laid bare on page after page of remembrances in order for his readers to feel what he felt…”—Southern Writer’s Magazine.
Real Media Radio - Adele Elliott
“The drug war is on . . . and we should all be afraid. Merle Temple takes the reader into a 1960s world of violence and mystery, and creates characters that are chillingly sinister, especially the evil Fredrick, who may haunt your nightmares for a very long time. This story blends action with a literary style that only grows in the Deep South. Romance and brutality merge in this debut novel by a promising author. Not for the faint of heart.”—Adele Elliott, Real Media Radio.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780981671062
Publisher:
Bethel Road Publications
Publication date:
05/20/2013
Series:
Michael Parker Series , #1
Pages:
354
Sales rank:
1,351,664
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Ross grinned and blood gushed from each corner of his mouth. Red, bubbling foam dripped from his chin, and he looked like some horror from a bad vampire movie. Michael finally blinked. Here he was in the middle of nowhere, trapped by an insane criminal who dined on razor blades.

Meet the Author

Merle Temple, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, worked for the FBI in Washington before earning two degrees in Criminal Justice at Ole Miss where he later received the Distinguished Alumni award. He signed on with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) after college when Nixon declared “War on Drugs.”

A graduate of the DEA academy and the New England Institute of Management as class president, he infiltrated drug distribution cells and was held hostage by dealers who planned to kill him. In the aftermath of a raid on the headquarters of a Dixie Mafia syndicate, he was lured out by two contract killers in a standoff near Memphis.

The first MBN Captain, he and his agents were ambushed by a sniper protecting a heroin deal. A gun battle ensued with dealers who had local police protection. He was Special Internal Affairs investigator of a plan to corrupt the MBN.

He later became a Bell System Security Manager, investigated corporate corruption, and assisted police in a dramatic hostage situation. He served in many management posts for Bell including public relations and marketing, was active in high level political campaigns, and was a fundraiser and chairman on many nonprofit boards. He was an adjunct criminal justice and sociology instructor, served on a national panel setting standards for schools across America, and his fight to protect a small nonprofit agency was profiled in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Chairman of the Quality Council and received many awards from BellSouth.

Merle retired to his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, to write. When he wrote A Ghostly Shade of Pale, he resisted all suggestions that he add profanity and explicit scenes of intimacy. He wanted to write books that were not throwaway items in a throwaway world, and books that he wouldn’t be ashamed for his Mother and his English teacher to see if they were still alive. He is penning A Rented World, the sequel to A Ghostly Shade of Pale. It is the second of a planned trilogy. He lives near Tupelo with his wife Judy.

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Ghostly Shade of Pale 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Against a backdrop of the 1960s social upheavals, Merle Temple has offered his first-hand experiences as a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) agent. Through his engaging character and alter-ego, Michael Parker, the reader is taken from his loving grandma's rewards of unconditional love and peppermint candies to the dark underbelly of illegal drugs, political corruption, agency "friends" he could not trust and the angst of lost love; all are the stuff of bad dreams, where the rewards are sometimes the escape with life itself. Mr. Temple has woven together the elements of a powerful Mystery-Suspense that left this reader's heart pounding: would the MBN's rookie agents survive an ambush shootout that was supposed to be a business-as-usual undercover deal? Would Michael's best friend and mentor through the years survive the insidious attack of cancer, as Michael watches him grow more gaunt and haggard as the disease takes its toll? There is also the figure that stalks him, one emerged from the black pit of night terrors. Although stark white with the flame-red eyes of a demon, he moves like a dark shadow, while leaving behind a trail of death and horror. And he manages to keep a step ahead of Michael. Then comes that one unguarded moment. Michael, weary from the demands of life and his job, walks into an ambush where he comes face-to-face with the pale shadow-man whose icy heart and super-human strength are fueled by drugs and the demonic. It is a fight-to-the-death. All of Michael's training seems to fail him, and he can only call on his God. Will He hear him? Or is his Master, so soon, calling him home? ---KB Schaller, Author, Gray Rainbow Journey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A different book, complex, beautifully written.  Filled with danger, but laced with tenderness.  Not a book to throw away, but to treasure and read again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"GHOSTLY" quickly lassoed my attention. This adventure is vividly told with strong yet simple words that brings the characters and the scenes to life. I was soon rooting for some while screaming at others. I became a part of this suspenseful journey. "Ghostly is a page-turner that throoughout the story teases one's curiousity of wanting to know what happens next. Merle Temple captured an era that many have forgotten or were too young to understand. A piece of history that those involved have "shoeboxed" long ago. Definitely to be read over and over, and over again.
smragan More than 1 year ago
A Ghostly Shade of Pale is a great book and needs to be added to everyone's reading list. The first chapter starts out with great action that will draw you in. Its the type of book that you do not want to put down. Although, this story is fiction, it is still based on real events that Mr. Temple himself experienced. I am from Mississippi, and having the setting of the story around where I live is another great factor that made me want  to read.    
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MHStowers More than 1 year ago
Merle lived the life and now he gets to write about it. An amazing tale of real life wrapped in fiction. Oh, and did I mention that it's the first book in a trilogy?