Rebecca Ortiz is an assistant professor of advertising in the Newhouse School. Her primary areas of expertise are health communication research and campaign development and evaluation. In many states across the United States recently, the coronavirus positivity rate for people…
Falk Professor publishes first novel
Combining historically accurate military and espionage details, David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management Rick Burton ’79 published his first novel this spring: a thriller that spans two generations of complicated intrigue and dark double-crosses.
Published by Long Reef Press, “The Darkest Mission” follows the crew of a doomed 100th Bomb Group B-17 bomber through a 50-year odyssey targeting one of America’s most honored public figures. With a whirlwind plot, it falls to a South Boston detective, turning to an NFL-linebacker-turned-priest, to explain one clue (a Bible verse that does not exist). It leads to a series of gritty homicides and a puzzle-filled plot that ends with a blazing conclusion.
Burton notes inspiration for the novel dates back to the early 1980s when he worked in public relations for Miller Brewing Company. At that time, he received a letter from a radio operator from a B-17 and it was the 40th anniversary of their last flight. They had named their B-17 after the Miller High Life product and back in the ’40s, the Miller High Life logo was a girl sitting on a crescent moon.
“The letter asked if we would be interested in helping them get together for a reunion. So it was kind of an early day sponsorship. I put it together and fell in love with the B-17 and the concept of 10 guys in a plane all having to work together as a team. I had this big sports background and I thought to myself, ‘I’d love to create a story that has a B-17 in it.’ I think that’s the earliest genesis of where this book comes from,” says Burton.
“The Darkest Mission” is available at the SU Bookstore, Amazon.com, BN.com and Lulu.com