A new book set in the Hudson Valley is based on shocking real-life events that happened right in our own backyard.

Author Jodé Millman spent 10 years writing The Midnight Call. The courtroom thriller follows the fictitious lawyer named Jessie Martin who find out that her former teacher is accused of murdering a teenage boy in his basement. The story is based on the real-life story of Albert Fentress, a beloved teacher at Poughkeepsie Middle School who killed and ate one of his students in 1979.

Millman grew up in Poughkeepsie and was a student of Fentress. The author also knew the victim. Being so close to such an unthinkable crime was something that affected the author and inspired her to write The Midnight Call. While the characters in the book aren't based on her real life, Millman was an attorney just like the protagonist in her book. Hudson Valley residents will also appreciate many of the local details and landmarks scattered throughout the book.

While the novel continues to receive rave reviews, Millman is already thinking about her next book. Working as an attorney in the 1990s, the author remembers a problem with prostitutes hanging out in front of her offices in the City of Poughkeepsie. After several complaints to the police, the prostitutes began to disappear. What Millman didn't realize at the time was that it wasn't the police, but serial killer Kendall Francois who was snatching the prostitutes from the street. This connection, she says, is serving as the inspiration of the next Jessie Martin book.

M. Sandwich
M. Sandwich

As for future books, it seems as though there's no shortage of Poughkeepsie crime stories. Milman says she's considering future novels based on the recent Kayaking murder case involving Angelika Graswald and the story of JoAnn Nichols who was found buried in the wall of her Poughkeepsie home in 2013 after missing for 28 years.

The Midnight Call is available in paperback and e-book versions on Amazon and at other major retailers.

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