Friday, October 28, 2022

Jar of Pennies by John Yearwood

 About the Book:

In the summer of 1979, the small town of Whitmire Texas—deep in the eastern piney woods of the state—is rocked by a series of murders None of the victims knew one another, none lived close by. A police chief floats to the surface of a lake, hooked on a trot line; a divorcing wife apparently overdoses on illegal drugs; the skeletons of a young mother and her three-year-old toddler are found near an abandoned barn; a Congressman is murdered in a shoot-out at his home, which also claims the lives of two drug pushers from Houston and a used car dealer. 

The sleepy private town of Whitmire is terrified and the town's newspaper publisher is determined to bring the mystery to a resolution. BoMac—short for Beaufort Sebastian Maclean—is a young University of Virginia dropout devoted to journalism and committed to chronicling the life of the little community. He takes the publishing job at the weekly Whitmire Standard very seriously, pouring his life into a job that demands he not only write the news but also take the photos and sell the ads. In the fraught atmosphere of Whitmire where daily routines are thrown off kilter by the unknown terror, he keeps his eyes open and finally spots a jar of pennies: the evidence that clenches the death sentence for the killer.

About the Author:

Former stringer for the New York Times, John Yearwood taught in high schools and universities for 30 years, and was an award-winning journalist for 15 years. He has published hundreds of editorials and columns and thousands of news stories, as well as academic works on the First Amendment and the extra-Constitutional powers of the Presidency during times of crisis. After retiring in 2012, he now volunteers helping elementary students improve their reading skills, and assisting refugee immigrants when he is not writing. 

He is the author of The Icarus Series: The Icarus Jump, The City and the Gate and The Gender of Fire; as well as The Lie Detector App, which is set in modern California and follows the unfolding life of a genius kid who creates apps for the smartphone, and discovers there is truth everywhere if you know how to look; and Jar of Pennies, a historical and cultural crime fiction novel set in a small town in East Texas. John lives in Austin with his wife and two small dogs.

Get to know John! John Yearwood

My Thoughts:  (Very bried)

I made an effort to engage with this story.  However, chapter after chapter the story began to FEEL like pennies in a jar....totally separate thoughts piled one on top of another, filling a book with pages but remaining separate and unconnected.  I could not engage.  I tried.  The concept appealed to me when I read the synopsis, but, for me at least, failed to deliver a cohesive narrative.