Franky Dast

Created by Michael Wiley

Sure, there’ve been other private eyes who’ve served time, but Jacksonville, Florida’s FRANKY DAST might be the first to have spent time on death row.

After serving three years waiting to be executed for the murder of two boys, and previously “five more in Supermax,” Franky is a free man, more or less, sprung on one of those pesky legal technicalities “hang ‘em all” conservatives are always growling about–namely, that he didn’t do it.

So what’s a bookish twenty-six year old who’s been in prison since he was eighteen to do?

Apparently it’s to rent a cheap motel room and go to work for the Justice Now Initiative, the folks who helped him get out of jail, and maybe, just maybe help out some people who are caught up in the same sort of jam he was.

His first novel, Monument Road (2017) had Franky taken on a case that, much to his surprise, involved Bill Higby, the cop whose testimony sent him up the river and is now charged with murder himself. A second novel, 2023’s The Long Way Out, has him helping out a Mexican family leery of the police to find their daughter’s killer.


Michael Wiley, is a University of North Florida professor specializing in 18th and early 19th century British literature, and is also the creator of Shamus fave Joe Kozmarski, as well as books about homicide dick Daniel Turner and damaged private eye Sam Kelson. He lives in Jacksonville.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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