Little, Brown will publish a true crime story written by James Patterson and based on the life and recent suicide of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez. The book is scheduled for early 2018.
Patterson said of Hernandez: "While his life was marred by controversy, he had incredible potential and undisputed talent. ... I hope that this book helps shed some light on the events that led to his all too public and heartbreaking demise.”
The nonfiction work will, according to the publisher, investigate the rise and fall of the former Patriots tight end, who left behind both a murder sentence and a young daughter. The book will chart Hernandez through his childhood, in a crime-heavy neighborhood in Connecticut, through his college career at the University of Florida. It will also explore his performance in the 2012 Super Bowl, his 2015 sentencing to life in prison for first-degree murder, and his suicide, by hanging, in prison.
Reagan Arthur, publisher of Little, Brown, acquired the book from Robert Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly. The publisher noted that, as it is still working out publication details, any potential coauthor, should there be one, is to be announced. A portion of the proceeds from the book will go toward education and pro-reading initiatives.
The book is Patterson's first nonfiction work since 2016's Filthy Rich, which profiled the disgraced hedge-fund billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Patterson will also release a collection of true crime stories, in partnership with the TV network Investigation Discovery; TV shows built around the stories will air on the network and publish simultaneously in January 2018.