Frank E. Hopkins writes realistic crime novels and short stories portraying social and political issues. He has published five novels: The Counterfeit Drug Murders was awarded third place in the novel category by the Delaware Press Association in their 2021 Communications Contest, The Billion Dollar Embezzlement Murders, Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders which won first place in the mystery/thriller category in the Maryland Writers Association 2018 novel contest, The Opportunity, and Unplanned Choices. Frank’s collection of short stories, First Time, was awarded second place for a single author collection in the Delaware Press Associations 2017 Communication contest.
He has lived in Delaware since 2001, after residing in the Washington, DC area for most of his life. He spent his formative years in the New York City area until he graduated from Hofstra University. The three locations provide settings for his novels and short stories. He is active in the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild, the Delaware Press Association, the Eastern Shore Writers Association, the Maryland Writers Association, and the Mystery Writers of America.
Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders
The novel is a suspenseful serial killer crime story. The Maryland Writers Association awarded the novel first place in the mystery/thriller category in their 2018 novel contest.
For the U.S. the Vietnam War ended in 1975. The hatred between pro- and anti- war factions did not. The result was serial murder.
Paul O’Hare, a retired history professor, uncovers a long-hidden domestic impact of the Vietnam War thirty-five years after the war ended when he finds a skeleton in the crawl space of an abandoned home in southern Delaware. The Delaware State Police investigation team, headed by Detective Margaret Hoffman, discovers two more skeletons and the quest for a serial killer begins. Hoffman soon learns the three skeletons had been graduate students at the University of Maryland during the 1970s, as was Paul O’Hare. He soon becomes a major suspect as well as a romantic interest of Detective Hoffman.
The search for a serial killer reveals a complex web of former student interrelationships, questionable student suicides, a crusading newspaper reporter, and CIA agents and double agents, in this fast-paced suspense novel.
The Billion Dollar Embezzlement Murders
The thriller sequel to Abandoned Homes: Vietnam Revenge Murders starts with the heinous murder of a participant in a billion dollar embezzlement of a Delaware company, the Liberty Credit Card Co. The action switches to the continuing romance of Margaret Hoffman and Paul O’Hare started in the first novel. They marry, have a successful release of the book they wrote about the abandoned home murders, and decide to spend their honeymoon in Greece. The embezzlement continues as the crime’s ringleader, Hank Strong, orders the murder of Joann Cummings, who discovered the crime. She avoids the first two attacks, at her home and at a mountain cabin in West Virginia, but fearing for her life she flies to Greece to enlist the help of Margaret and Paul to help solve the crime. As they become involved, an attempt is also made on the authors’ lives in Mykonos, Greece and Duck, North Carolina. The action returns to the U.S. as the Delaware and Greek police get closer to solving the crime. The embezzlers make plans to leave the U.S. to live in a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. Will the police or the embezzlers be successful in their quests?
First Time – Short Stories
The Delaware Press Association has awarded First Time second place for a collection of short stories by a single author in their 2017 Communications Contest. First Time includes ten short stories. While each story has separate characters they are linked by the theme that each story exposes the main character to the first time they experience an event participated in by all. The stories include anticipation of the happiness they expect; the dismay and wonder they feel during the event; and the surprising ending. The stories cover a wide range of events throughout life, including childhood, coming of age, romance, recovery from divorce, and disappointments in the declining years.
The Counterfeit Drug Murders
The premature heart failure of the matriarch, Mary, tore the Jewel family apart. Mary’s children and her cardiologist did not accept that Mary had died a natural death in Duck, North Carolina. Brian, Mary’s son, clinically depressed by his mother’s death, recruited detectives Hoffman and O’Hare to discover who murdered Mary. A decade earlier, an immoral physician had enslaved her daughter, Eve, into opioid addiction – Mary’s death awoke a long simmering hatred.
Eve independently imposed her retribution on the pharmaceutical industry risking life in prison. Eve’s revenge involved cyber techniques to identify, locate, and track her victims. Eve mentally struggles with being caught and losing her lover or continuing her self-justified revenge.
The detectives discover Mary’s killer might have participated in other murders related to counterfeit drugs. They pursue the serial killer as he and his lover flee the police. The interstate search for the murderer leads to a fatal car chase through steep and dangerous mountain roads. Who will survive?
The Counterfeit Drug Murders is the third novel in the Hoffman and O’Hare Mystery Series. Readers of this pharmaceutical thriller/mystery have stated: it is riveting, could not put the book down, very timely story … in the midst of the opioid crisis, and easy to read.
The Opportunity is a suspenseful crime novel set in the high-powered competitive environment of Washington, DC and the high-paced professional networking social life of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.
The novel portrays corruption in the Federal Government contracting industry, and includes the relationship between a Federal agency, its contractors, and members of Congress. The corruption involves exchange of confidential information for sex between the Contracting Officer and the contractor’s marketing representative related to bidding on a $1 Billion government contract. The contractor uses private detectives and computer spying to illegally obtain confidential information about their competitors and the Federal agency.
The Contracting Officer’s former girlfriend exposes the corruption to a newspaper reporter, who publishes a series of articles that initiate an investigation by the Federal agency and the FBI.
What will happen if abortion is outlawed? No one under fifty will know or can remember when abortion was illegal in the US. Women who lived before the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 suffered from the fear of an unwanted pregnancy and could have experienced injury or death from a botched illegal abortion.
Unplanned Choices a coming-of-age historical drama, set in the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City and Long Island during the turbulent period of the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, the Civil Rights struggle, the women’s movement, and the quest for legalizing abortion.
The novel is the story of Steve Lynch’s and his first love Anna Marino. Both Anna and Steve are raised in the Roman Catholic faith and struggle with the church’s prohibition of sexual activity and their growing sex drives. They both meet in college after abandoning the church’s restrictions. Anna became pregnant and died during an abortion, before abortion on demand became legal in New York. The novel describes the impact of the abortion on Steve, the abortionist, Anna’s family and friends, and one NYPD investigator who became too close to the case.
Situations, similar to that portrayed in Unplanned Choices could be replicated hundreds of thousands of times if abortion becomes illegal, or is severely restricted in the United States.