By Jana MArcus

When a newspaper article about a murdered mobster from the 1940s is discovered in her grandmother's secret drawer, award-winning photographer and author Jana Marcus is launched into a decades-long quest to uncover her family’s hidden history and solve a 75-year-old cold-case. But the search is a mere prologue to a far greater puzzle that takes her deep into the origins of her Jewish immigrant roots, corruption at the highest levels of New York’s justice system, and a dark underworld of racketeers, gamblers, and self-made millionaires, all leading to one of the greatest unsolved murders in mob history.

From lies and sealed records to mysterious phone calls and revelations, her labyrinthine journey examines the complexity of family, eerie messages from beyond the grave, and the greed that drives men to murder. Accompanied by a retired NYPD detective, a crime scene psychic, and a revolving door of characters, Marcus' search culminates in an explosive on-the-ground investigation, as she uncovers the shocking secrets of her father's family and threads together a history, not only of her clan, but of New York itself.


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"What a story! Jana Marcus takes us on a wild ride in her fierce and funny attempts to solve a seventy-five-year-old mob-murder case, but at its heart, this is a moving story of a daughter's efforts to stay connected to her dying father. Part true crime, part family memoir, Line of Blood goes all in."

– Kathryn Chetkovich, Author of Friendly Fire

"I love this story – It’s unbelievably good. Marcus takes us on her real-life investigation, not only of an unsolved murder in the golden age of the New York Gangster, but into the meaning of family and the ties that bind and separate us. A must read."

Jim Eckhart, Screenwriter and Filmmaker


Marcus' Line of Blood is not just another personal journey story, nor a family history, nor is it a crime procedural, a crime thriller novel, or even a paranormal mystery – it is, in fact, all of them in one fascinating book. Although this is a real life story, I find it hard to believe that any novel could rival the excitement, intrigue, and mystery that this evokes.  Just be prepared, because once you pick it up you will not be able to put it down until you turn the last page, and even then, you’ll want more.

– Patrick Callahan, Criminologist

"In Line of Blood, the gangster-pulp fiction-noir story is there, but made so much richer and broader with Marcus' family history – going back and forth in time and interpreting what may have been lies and what may have been the truth. I love the broad view and the philosophizing about life and the immigrant experience – everyone paid the price, a high price, but one that I say was ultimately worth it. With Maria-the-Psychic, Marcus and her team of investigators assuaged the souls/spirits of the dead. In Chinese culture, they would be called "hungry ghosts" ­– the ghosts who have been murdered, cheated, and have unfinished business. Marcus has honored her relatives of the past.
Great book. Great Story. Great Read." 

– George Ow, Jr., Businessman, Philanthropist, and Avid Mystery Reader

"An unsolved murder in her family’s history, with admonitions to leave it in the past, leads author Jana Marcus on a complex quest to find the solution. There are deeply moving memories all along the way, drawing from parent and family relationships as well as an ingrained longing for knowledge, resolution, and healing. After an immense amount of discovery, suspense, and adventure, both factual and otherworldly, the strength and poignancy of this book boils down to an engrossing read.”

– Steve Wong, Editor of Pushpen Press

"Reading Line of Blood, I felt I was traveling with the author on her roller-coaster, tipsy-curvy personal literary journey through a maze of tangled family relatives, twisted political police involvement, sinister characters, and I couldn't let go! Had to take a long, deep breath when the journey ended. Loved the book."   

– Dr. Paul Kantrowich

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 behind the scenes

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Meet the historic characters & modern-day investigation team

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 good times

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by Wallace baine

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sample chapters


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$17.95  Softback   ISBN 978-0-9833434-3-1

$5.99   Ebook        ISBN  978-0-9833434-5-5

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