Author, Journalist, Filmmaker

Winter in a Summer Town

Jersey Shore native Gene Ritchings’ “Winter in a Summer Town” will keep readers turning pages.                                                                                              

                                                                                           The Star Ledger

The Jersey Shore, winter, 1969-70. Land development has the economy booming and the local political scene awash in cash, while state-wide headlines detail the sensational exposure of organized crime’s grip on government and politics in New Jersey.Winter in a Summer Town cover

Reporter Eddie Bonneville, an ambitious but unworldly youth, records an explosive interview with Matty ‘The Mule’ Esposito, the Shore rackets boss. Outraged at being stabbed in the back by politicians he’s dealt with for decades, the aged gangster defiantly opens up about his 40 year reign as boss of the Jersey Shore underworld.

The author’s protagonist is a reporter whose interview with a local mobster rocks a small Shore town to its sandy core. Quite the summer read.                                                                                       The Asbury Park Press

Esposito’s allegations open Eddie’s eyes to a world of political corruption. He believes he’s onto a story that will make his career. But his investigation thrusts him into a life and death battle with the corrupt and criminal forces he has unwisely antagonized.

A portrait of small town America losing its innocence, set in the charged and painful space between generations, Eddie’s story captures a young reporter’s personal and professional coming of age. Winter in a Summer Town is the journey of a troubled kid learning hard lessons about power, politics, and love, in a world that’s trying to turn him into the kind of man he refuses to become.

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Praise for Winter in a Summer Town

Eddie Bonneville, the protagonist in Gene Ritchings’ new novel, “Winter in a Summer Town,” is an authentic, vivid depiction of a modern journalist…Only a journalist who has survived years of the field’s unkindest cuts could create a character like Bonneville, whose innocence is peeled away in aching layers as he navigates what he believes will be the story that makes his career… Ritchings has written a novel in which the story of a young man’s personal and professional coming of age is a mirror of its times, an oracle of its country’s future and a vivid tableau of our present.                                                                                                       Toledo Free Press

“Winter in a Summer Town” relates the coming of age of a young reporter and the loss of small-town innocence of the Jersey Shore itself, and takes the reader back to an era when news was written on typewriters in smoke-filled newsrooms… The novel is filled with the places and people of the Jersey Shore, like the legendary Upstage Club where the Asbury Park music scene was born, the original Inkwell coffee house in Long Branch, the boardwalks of Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights, and a mob graveyard in a Jackson Township chicken farm. The reader meets cynical politicians, gangsters, hard-working journalists, and even the denizens of the Pine Barrens.                                                                      The Hudson Reporter