If all went well, yesterday my crime novel, Steeled for Murder, was released. It's the first in a five novel series featuring Jesse Damon, who was paroled after spending nearly twenty years in prison on a murder conviction.
Jesse is determined to make it on the street and not become a recidivism statistic, but it's not easy. Thanks to a state program that gives tax credits to companies that hire paroled convicts, he has a job as a laborer on the third shift of a steel fabrication plant. He's found a tiny basement apartment and is very careful not to violate the terms of his parole. Money's tight, people are suspicious of parolees and he's on house arrest.
Mitch, the forklift driver on the shift, accuses him of stalking his wife and starts a rumor that Jesse is a sex offender, which doesn't help. Mitch threatens to report Jesse to his parole officer.
When Mitch is found murdered in the warehouse later on the shift, suspicion falls on Jesse. Detective Belkins, who is investigating the case, is sure he has his perpetrator and sees no reason to look further or be particularly ethical in his investigative methods. Fortunately for Jesse, his partner, Detective Montgomery, is angling for a promotion and doesn't want a sloppy investigation in a major case to hold him back.
A major reason I started writing this series was to give a voice to people who are often forgotten, ignored or even despised in our society. Jesse is not exactly an introspective person, but he understands his position and is trying hard to be a success, by both his personal standards and those of society.
I enjoyed writing about Jesse and his world. I hope you will enjoy reading about him in this and the coming novels. Fostering Death should be released over the summer and Burial for a Biker in the spring. And that I can give a bit of insight into the lives of people who live on the edges of our society.
Thanks for the opportunity to present Jesse and his story.
Steeled for Murder is now Available at Musa Publishing