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Explosive New Crime Book Opens Up Old Massachusetts Prison Wounds

Michael W. McKay’s ‘A Big House for Little Men’ uses the notorious Walpole State Prison in Massachusetts as an inspiration for a new high-octane thriller.

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(PRNewsChannel) / August 06, 2009 / Boston, Mass./ Murder, hit squads, and corruption; three crimes you’d think would be bigger problems outside of a prison instead of within its four walls.  However, as Massachusetts residents know, that wasn’t the case in the 1970s.  Riots at Walpole State Prison shook the Bay State in 1972.  Several murders within the prison made headlines in 1978, and Walpole gained national notoriety when prisoners took guards hostage in 1979.

Now, an explosive new crime book draws upon these turbulent events to spin a powerful story about how one young man took over a prison and became the most powerful criminal in Boston.  Written by Boston native Michael W. McKay, A Big House for Little Men is a high-octane, plot twisting thriller McKay says is sure to strike a cord with longtime Massachusetts residents.

“Anyone with Boston ties knows how bad things were in Massachusetts prisons in the ‘70s,” says McKay.  “There were one or two murders a week, but what do you expect when you put psychopaths and sociopaths in the same place? Guards were scared to go to work, they were scared for their families, they were scared of what the prisoners could do.”


Perfect for fans of books and movies like The Departed, Mystic River, and Goodfellas, A Big House for Little Men introduces a fictional character named Cody, a lifelong criminal who grew up in an all-Irish Dorchester neighborhood in Boston. The story focuses on central themes of family, friendship, crime, and the city of Boston itself.


“People have a love affair with Boston, and for good reason,” says McKay, who is currently working another new title called You Leave Me No Option. “But as with any great city, there’s a dark side. There are bad events people don’t talk about. And you know what they say happens when you don’t learn from history.”


That’s part of the reason McKay says he decided to write A Big House for Little Men.  He says the same issues and factors that led to the notorious events of the 1970s could easily repeat themselves.  McKay says the lessons of his novel are tragically timeless in that they apply just as easily 30 years ago as they do to the troubled youths and the ghettos of modern day Boston.


A Big House for Little Men is already available at online book e-tailers worldwide, and will hit bookstores for an official release on August 21st.



For more information, please visit


About Michael W. McKay:  Michael W. McKay was born in Massachusetts and has developed a life-long love affair with the city of Boston.  His new book, A Big House for Little Men, uses the history of the notorious Walpole State Prison in Massachusetts as an inspiration for a page-turning storyline featuring a psychopathic central character and his deadly ties with sex, drugs, the Boston mafia, and corrupt policemen and prison guards.  McKay now splits his time between Boston and Tampa, Fla., where he is working on a new novel entitled, You Leave Me No Option.



Michael W. McKay


Phone:  (508) 431-4639



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