Welcome to the Official Website of


by Fess Stancato

Hello and welcome! I’m Fess Stancato and I’m the mind behind “Stonebroken.” This is a place where you can dive deeper into the world that I’ve created. Here, you will find everything from detailed insights about the book, a closer look at its creation, to upcoming events, and a bit more about myself.  Let’s walk together a while, you and me.

About Book


“Stonebroken” introduces you to Mike Wise, a detective who has seen better days. Once a respected professional, Mike now finds himself a pariah in his own city. He is haunted by a job that went disastrously wrong some years before. His life is also marred by blank spots in his memory from years of battling alcoholism.  But Mike’s luck seems to take an unexpected turn when he is approached with a lucrative yet morally ambiguous assignment.

The task seems straightforward: Mike is to intimidate a young lover threatening the career of a burgeoning politician. However, what starts as a simple job quickly spirals into a complex web of murder, greed, and betrayal. As Mike delves deeper, reality itself seems to warp, challenging his understanding of everything and everyone around him.

“Stonebroken” is not just a mystery but a labyrinth where the past and present collide in unexpected ways. It is a story that asks: what if your very reality was at stake?

Meet Fess Stancato

I began my journey as a writer and artist in college at the University of Pittsburgh. I was influenced by writers like Cormac McCarthy, Harlan Ellison, and Stephen King. My writing career took off in graduate school at West Chester University, where several of my stories found homes in esteemed publications.  Then as now, my taste lies in elevated genre fiction, and “Stonebroken” testifies to my belief in the power of that kind of story to surprise, delight, and horrify, but also to move and enlighten. 

I reside in Pennsylvania with my wife and four children.

Latest Book Online

Stone Broken



Dive Deeper

Behind the Scenes

Get an exclusive look at the making of “Stonebroken.” From early drafts to the final touches, discover the journey of bringing Mike Wise’s story to life. This section offers a peek into my creative process, the challenges I faced, and the triumphs along the way.

Events and Appearances

Stay updated on where I’ll be next. Whether it is book signings, readings, or casual meet-and-greets, this is where you will find all the information that you need to join me. I love meeting readers and discussing the worlds we love to get lost in.

Exclusive Content

Subscribers can access never-before-seen content. They include short stories expanding the universe of “Stonebroken,” character deep dives, and more. It is a corner for those who can not get enough of Mike Wise and the mysteries he untangles.

From the Blog

Take part in discussions about the themes of “Stonebroken.” Explore the intricacies of creating a mystery that bends reality and read about the influences behind the novel. The blog is where I share my thoughts on writing, updates on my work, and reflections on the stories that shape us.


Your thoughts and insights about “Stonebroken” would mean the world to me. Connect with me through social media, email, or the contact form on this site. Whether it is feedback, questions, or just a shared love for storytelling, I’m all ears.

Join the Journey

Subscribers can access never-before-seen content. They include short stories expanding the universe of “Stonebroken,” character deep dives, and more. It is a corner for those who can not get enough of Mike Wise and the mysteries he untangles.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Stonebroken” kind of brewed in my mind for a while before I wrote it. It is truly a mixed bag of influences.  The classic Sherlock Holmes stories, modern gumshoes like Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, and Jake Gittes, the film Dark City, the gritty reality of our world, L’Inferno, and a whole spice rack of other inspirations. I started the book with two ideas: a detective with a faulty memory and an old sin that would not let him go.  I wanted to explore what happens when a detective, who relies on his mind to solve cases, can not even trust his own memories. I have always been a sucker for a good mystery that makes you question reality, but it’s important to me that there is a solution—”Stonebroken” is a story that knows where its going and plays out its mystery along the way.

If you are into stories that mix mystery with a bit of a psychological twist, then “Stonebroken” might just be your next favorite read.  It’s an elevated take that challenges and surprises even seasoned readers of the genre.  If you love getting your mind a little bent (in a good way), solving puzzles from your armchair, and closing the door a little faster behind you when it’s time to turn off your bedroom lights, then you are going to get a kick out of this.

Great question.  Yes, but not in a way that preaches.  Mike does struggle with alcohol, and his relationship to it and to himself is part of what makes his journey complex and, (I know from experience), relatable for some. While the book does not shy away from showing you the realities of his struggles, it is much more focused on his fight to uncover the truth, both about the case and himself.  Think of it as a backdrop that adds layers to the story, rather than being the main focus. It’s all about balance.


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