Local author writes young adult novel inspired by South Bend manhole murders

NOW: Local author writes young adult novel inspired by South Bend manhole murders

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A local author and Saint Mary's College professor published a young adult novel this month, inspired by the 2006 Manhole Murders in South Bend.

Author Katherine Higgs-Coulthard’s novel, "Junkyard Dogs", details a teenager's fight for survival and search for his father within an underground scrapping ring.

The book's setting will be familiar to locals.

"My book takes place in South Bend," Higgs-Coulthard said. "I was raised here, I continue to work here, and a lot of the landmarks in the book come directly from places in South Bend."

One of the landmarks in the book is The Castle, inspired by The Fort, where victims of the 2006 murders stayed while scrapping.

Higgs-Coulthard said she wants the book to inspire hope and challenge readers to reflect on the real-life challenges that exist in the community.

"I do think it's really interesting to look back on events that have happened in our community and ask deeper questions about societal issues that have caused those events," she said. "It's very easy to blame people for the circumstances they're in but I think, as it's true for most cases, there are things that conspire to put us in those circumstances and that's certainly the case for a lot of people who are un-homed in the area."

Higgs-Coulthard's official book launch will be held at Brain Lair Books on Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m.

Click here for more information on the event.

Purchase her book here.

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