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.
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.
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.
Gene Ritchings was born at the Jersey shore. A former reporter for the Ocean County Daily Observer and the Asbury Park Evening Press, he is the managing editor of a chain of weekly newspapers in Hudson County.