May 202014

I don’t usually share what I’m currently reading to social media (those posts sit all lonely and unread on my blog), but this time is different. It isn’t often that I get to read a book by not only someone that I know, but someone that I respect and made an impact on my life.

Conrad Jestmore, or Mr. J as we called him, was my forensics coach and drama teacher in high school. Not only did he open a whole new world of expression for me, but I learned that I had a passion for acting. I became more bold, less introverted and could accept criticism (better than I could before) through my acting exploits. I have many fond memories of my time spent in forensics. Even though I wasn’t very good, I had fun and stuck with it every year.

Most importantly, Mr. J introduced me to authors and playwrights that fueled my imagination and strengthened my real love, writing. Under his tutelage, I discovered amazing writers like Eudora Welty, poets like Edgar Lee Masters and playwrights like Jean-Paul Sartre  just to list a few. I asked for suggested reading not from my English teachers who almost always suggested the same classics and authors, but from Mr. J because he gave me suggestions that seemed more obscure and more entertaining to me. Why read about a man in a boat with page after page of exposition when I could read poetry of people speaking from the dead?!

I’ve always wondered about Mr. J’s creative endeavors and I’m excited that I get the chance to read River of MurderHis second book, Fields of Death, is sitting on my desk just waiting for me to finish the first.

Jimmy O’Reilly, ex-cop and failed P.I., returns to his small Kansas hometown on the Arkansas River to find peace, but instead finds a family friend murdered. Only problem, no one believes it is murder. As a reluctant investigator, O’Reilly stumbles on an international drug scheme, and in the process has to face his demons from the past. A trail of murders up and down the river leads O’Reilly back to the big city and its violent underworld of crime. It also brings into question his ability to not only find the truth, but to come to terms with his wife’s death and at the same time protect an innocent teenager from the danger.

Summary from

 Posted by at 10:15 am
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