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Ed Protzel has completed two novels and five original screenplays for feature film, and developed scripts/projects for 20th Century Fox. His darkly ironic antebellum South mystery, The Lies That Bind, published by TouchPoint Press (2015), is the first book in his planned DarkHorse Trilogy. Book 2, Honor Among Outcasts, is set in Civil War Missouri (to be released in 2017). Book 3, Something in Madness, takes place in the South after the war (2018).
Ed’s most-recent novel is The Antiquities Dealer, a futuristic mystery/thriller about a Jewish antiquities gallery owner drawn by his former lover into a scheme to clone the great minds of history—purportedly beginning with Jesus Christ.
Ed’s expertise as a novelist and screenwriter is in the American tragicomedy movement, science fiction, Shakespeare, and a variety of historical periods. He has a Master’s degree in English Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he writes full time.
The Lies That Bind is based on Protzel’s screenplay which was recognized by the Missouri Playwrights Association. It had brief Hollywood exposure; was called “a great script” by 20th Century Fox’s Murray Silverman, Paramount’s Sherry Lansing, and Chelsea Studios producer Stan Zuckerman.
The Lies That Bind
Published by TouchPoint Press
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The Lies That Bind video trailer
This is not how they are remembered by history.
Driven by overwhelming longings, both outliers and establishment in this labyrinthine-plotted tale refuse to accept the roles society has forced upon them.
In 1859, Durksen Hurst, a visionary charlatan on the run, encounters a dozen hungry slaves stranded in the Mississippi wilds. Led by the deceptively simple-looking Big Josh, together, they agree to build their own egalitarian plantation, with Hurst acting as figurehead “master” to hoodwink the town. But wise Big Josh fears that Hurst’s grandiose schemes may doom them all to the hangman’s noose.
In the town, the reclusive widow, Marie Brussard French, manipulates the region’s bankers and cotton brokers, everyone…except her frail, rebellious heir-apparent, Devereau. Driven by unbearable loneliness to mad acts, Devereau threatens to expose the family’s own tenuous façade—which would prove fatal to the Frenches.
Meanwhile, Antoinette DuVallier, a beautiful, Cassandra-like fugitive from New Orleans with mysterious ties to the Frenches, is on her own desperate mission. Her arrival detonates long-repressed conflicts, unleashing a devastating upheaval of fire and blood that tears asunder the once-sleepy hamlet.
As the story’s tangled webs of deceit unravel, each startling plot twist and cathartic revelation shines a fresh light on what it means to be a man, a woman, free or enslaved—indeed, what it means to be human.
Honor Among Outcasts: DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 2 (TouchPoint Press, 2017)
Missouri during Reconstruction
During the Civil War in 1863, fast-talker Durk Hurst and Antoinette DuVallier, fronting for their former-slave partners, escape Mississippi together to join the Union army. They quickly find themselves entangled in the bloody guerrilla war in Missouri, a cauldron of unspeakable savagery, depredation, and vicious retribution—by both sides. After the Lawrence, Kansas, massacre by Quantrill’s rebels, Southerners Durk and Antoinette are arrested as spies and, attempting to free them and save a rebel-sympathizing boy, their DarkHorse partners become outlaws themselves.
Something in Madness: DarkHorse Trilogy, Book 3 (TouchPoint Press, 2018)
Returning South after the Civil War, Durk Hurst, Antoinette DuVallier, and Big Josh Tyler, in attempting to establish a school for former slaves, are opposed by powerful factions and corrupt gubernatorial politics.
The Antiquities Dealer (available for acquisition)
A futuristic mystery/thriller about a Jewish antiquities gallery owner drawn by his former lover into a scheme by a purportedly ancient society of Israeli geniuses to clone the great minds of history. Biotechnology, human evolution, and millennium religious movements collide in a cauldron peopled by a wealthy TV evangelist, a former NFL star, Middle East radicals, lowlife gamblers, and Texas oil billionaires—with far, far more than a veritable fortune at stake.
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