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On Thanksgiving Day, 1991, the tattered remnants of the notorious LaVoie crime family gather in a Minneapolis suburb for a melancholy reunion. 


Ronnie, a faded beauty who’s outlived three husbands and countless lovers, is the host. Her guests include eldest brother Eugene, the family’s detested Judas; Adriana, the flamboyant widow of youngest brother Michael, who was lost and presumed killed in Vietnam; and Joe, the lone survivor of the trio of fraternal desperadoes who murdered two men, including a Minneapolis patrolman, while terrorizing their hometown during the hot summer of 1953.


Also present, if only in Joe’s fevered imagination, are the ghosts of his hapless father and mother, gunslinging brothers Jack and Bernard, and beautiful, otherworldly sister Janine. There’s also the specter of H.V. Meslow, the old cop who pursued Joe and his brothers to their spectacular end and won’t be satisfied until he claims Joe’s soul. 


Crippled by a police bullet, Joe has spent the past thirty-eight years in a wheelchair. Now, dying, he’s desperate to learn – and terrified to know – the awful truth behind his family’s bloody demise. 


My Name Is Joe LaVoie is not a true story, but an extensive fiction recalling an actual crime spree that shocked the Upper Midwest in the 1950s.

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W.A. Winter is the pen name of journalist William Swanson. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Swanson has worked for newspapers, wire services, and magazines in Mexico, Germany, and the United States. He is the author of three true-crime books published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

As W.A. Winter, he has written a trio of Midwestern Noir novels available online from Kindle Books, Nook, and Seventh Street Books published his most recent suspense novels, The Secret Lives of Dentists in 2021 and My Name Is Joe LaVoie in 2022, in trade paperback editions.



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