Jesse Damon has made his share of mistakes. As a teenager, he took the rap for a crime committed by his older brothers. He expected drug charges; he got those and murder. The brothers disappeared and Jesse went to prison. Now he’s out on parole twenty years later and trying to make a new life, such as it is. His employer hires parolees for the government subsidies it earns, but at least it’s a job. He works hard, reports to his parole officer on schedule and keeps a low profile.
When a murder occurs on company grounds, all eyes turn toward Jesse as the likeliest culprit. He’s facing a somewhat psychopathic cop who lost his daughter to murder and the cop’s “by the book” partner; people who assume that since he did prison time for murder once, he’ll kill again; drug users looking for a connection and assorted members of the public who won’t let him live his simple life without interference.
Author KM Rockwood crafts a compelling mystery with “Steeled for Murder,” the first novel in the Jesse Damon series. Readers see the world from Jesse’s first-person POV and experience all of his fears and concerns over what’s happening around him. Jesse carries a soft spot for children, which lands him a couple of dicey situations. Perhaps Jesse’s greatest weakness displays in how easily he is swayed by the pain of others.
Rockwood mixes the guilty, the innocent and the neutral with the casual skill of a master chef. Each ingredient appears just in time to add the proper savor to the story. Readers will feel Jesse’s struggles as he strives to prove himself innocent of the most recent murder and stay on track with his parole. He fears the perception that he is the convenient solution, but can he uncover the truth without ending up back in prison?
With a wealth of experience to fuel this and future stories, Rockwood has created a storyscape where clashes between good and evil take place in the heart as well as on the street. This initial volume promises a series well worth following for any bona fide mystery fan.
Some sexual connotations and a good portion of violence make this a book for adult readers, although older teenagers may learn some valuable lessons about going along with what others suggest against your own inclinations. Find “Steeled for Murder” as an electronic book.
“Steeled for Murder” by KM Rockwood
Published by Musa Publishing
Want to learn more about writers and writing? Click the “Subscribe” link below the photo to stay informed on what’s happening. Your feedback is appreciated – please feel free to leave a comment below.