Stone Angels

Stone Angels

by MIchael Hartigan


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Guilt will always find you. Augustine Shaw knows this better than most. No matter how far he goes, he can't escape the tragedies that punctured his college life in Providence, Rhode Island. Augustine is poisoned by the heartache he caused, the reputations he shattered, the two friends he killed. Now, the lies he told to keep it all secret are crumbling.

Augustine seeks relief in a spring break road trip to Key West, where he hopes the sun, sex and insobriety will drown his past. The reprieve is temporary. On the long, dark road home Augustine is forced to relive the erratic series of events that changed his life, and ended others. Augustine races towards a final decision: bury his secrets forever, or seek redemption in the arms of a full confession.

"...I went at this book on a sleepy evening, and woke up in a hurry, and it went that way until the last word of all"
- Tom Sheehan, award-winning short story writer and author of A Collection of Friends and more

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939166791
Publisher: Merrimack Media
Publication date: 11/25/2015
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Michael Hartigan is the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Writer Award from Merrimack Media. Hartigan's journalistic work and travel writing has been featured in numerous national and regional publications, including USA Today, The Arizona Republic, and Destinations Travel Magazine. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.

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Stone Angels 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Richie1 More than 1 year ago
College life is the backdrop for the story which is the complex psyche of Augustine Shaw. Shaw, Ben and Duncan share a room their freshman year, but Duncan becomes Shaw's nemesis and does everything he can to infuriate Shaw, including insulting his girlfriend, Lily. At a party one night, Lily has too much to drink and is egged on to drink more by Shaw. The result is death by alcohol poisoning, and Shaw blames himself. The testosterone-fueled feud continues and erupts in a fight behind a bar where Duncan is killed by some thugs after Shaw leaves him unconscious. Shaw accepts the blame for his death. Finally, on the ride home from the Florida Keys on senior spring break, Shaw finds the way to release the guilt and hopefully change his life.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Stone Angels by Michael Hartigan is a gripping thriller and an award-winning story. Augustine Shaw didn’t have the happiest of times during college and he has to live with everything he did, including killing two friends. He heads off on a break up to Key West, a place where he can try to forget about everything through sun, alcohol and sex, but the relief isn’t going to last long. On the way home, he relives everything that shaped his life and ended the lives of other people. He has to make a decision – does he bury everything once and for all, or does he confess and take the consequences? Stone Angels by Michel Hartigan is a thriller of epic proportions, a real edge of your seat read. The way Mr. Hartigan writes allows the reader to get to know Shaw very well; very descriptive writing but straight to the point. The main protagonist goes through quite a time of things and you almost feel as though you are living every minute of it with him, walking beside him with each step. The plot is well thought out and entertaining, and there is more than just a simple story here. There are a number of real-life experiences dealt with throughout the plot, including guilt and jealousy. The story is a mixture of crime, humor and sex and, yes, in parts you will laugh, not something you expect in a tough thriller. This is an excellent first novel and it will really put Mr. Hartigan on the map. I hope there will be more like this in the future.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite As ultimately becomes apparent, Stone Angels by Michael Hartigan not only begins with a passage in the night, a surreal passage by a group of college student friends – two guys and two girls – involving an unplanned stop at a rural gas station, but the scene becomes a kind of metaphor for the entire story. This introductory chapter inclines the reader to expect one of those teen horror scenarios with a twisted, demonic killer. Yet the chapter serves a better purpose by taking you deep into the psychological reality of the main character, who narrates you through a history of events meant to explain his disturbing if intriguing current state of near collapse, and why he himself just might be that psychotic killer. The book moves among artful counterpoints of character revelations, creating an entourage and plot line cleverly constructed of group friendships well-defined by collegiate activities and other high jinks, comprised of some who have grown up together, and others formed in high school. This all makes for a complex set of relationships that in turn makes this a deeply engrossing story. Michael Hartigan in Stone Angels pulls the reader in from the start. He continues to contrast the surreal and the mundane while piecing together his psychological puzzle – a highly effective technique for revealing the emotional depth behind some really strange associations - and he deftly keeps you guessing at what the final diagnosis is to be. The symbolic representation most cogent to his purpose is the good and evil contrast between Shaw, the narrator, and his nemesis, Duncan, although the counterpoint is nuanced and authentic, with plenty of psychological explanation for a believable foundation. Important to a proper appreciation of this well-written book is the reality of what has really taken place prior to that introductory nighttime passage. Finding out is the genuine pleasure of reading Mr. Hartigan’s book.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Stone Angels is a literary fiction thriller written by Michael Hartigan. They were seniors now, and it was their last spring break. The four friends were on their way back north to school in Rhode Island after a hedonistic week of sun-drenched days and drunken nights in Key West. They had gone as far away as they possibly could from school and the capricious weather patterns of their odd little corner of New England. Now, it was time to return. They were all a bit wasted and worn; three of them dozing in the Explorer and sleeping off the excesses of the night before. Only Shaw, the driver, was still awake and watching the fuel gauge's needle dipping lower and lower. When he finally saw an exit sign prominently indicating a fuel station, he headed off the highway and started looking for the lights that would mean he had found it. He had no such luck, however, only the continued darkness of a back country road in Northern Florida. The fuel warning noise was dinging more and more furiously, echoing his own near-panic at being stranded out in the middle of nowhere, until suddenly the small, barely lit station appeared, waiting for them at the bottom of the hill. They were in a different world out here, and Shaw, more so than any of his friends, found himself confronting the divide between his past and an unknown and daunting future. There were sins to account for and debts to pay, but he was prepared to do what was necessary to be granted redemption. Michael Hartigan's literary fiction thriller, Stone Angels, is a brooding and introspective coming of age story, narrated by college senior, Augustine Shaw, who, after reading The Paradoxical Commandments printed on a bright red piece of paper and hanging on the wall of that North Florida gas station, resolves to confess what he's done and get on with atoning for those crimes. Hartigan's story is richly nuanced, and I found myself completely caught up in Shaw's tale. I loved sharing vicariously in the new-found freedom of the young roommates, who live blissfully free of parental control in that first year of college. I understood Shaw's confusion and increasing frustration with Duncan, a high school acquaintance who had been determined to share the college life with Shaw, but then did all he could to make Shaw’s life a misery. Stone Angels is a complex and many-layered work that alternates the joy of youth with the devastating effects of guilt and regret. Hartigan's characters are vividly portrayed, and the dramatic moments in the story are unforgettable. This powerful and compelling debut novel is most highly recommended.
MAreader217 More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down! Great psychological thriller with plenty of action. The writing was provocative and kept me turning the pages at a fast pace, and the last few chapters sent some tingles up my spine. Still thinking about it days after. A can't-miss read.