About a month ago we interviewed local author Conrad Jestmore about the release of his first mystery novel “River of Murder.” He had previously published poems, short stories, non-fiction, and he adapted “A Christmas Carol” for a local musical. During the interview I pulled up the Kobo app on my smartphone. I knew “River of Murder” was available on Amazon (I put the link on our Facebook page) and was happy to find that Kobo was offering it as well. So I bought it, and had it downloaded before the interview was over.
I didn’t read it right away; I’m currently 4 books into a re-read of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. I’ve still got 10 to get thru before I’m ready for the 14th (and supposedly final) book in the Wheel of Time. A series that has outlived its author and is being finished by one of my new favorite authors Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson took over for the final 3 books in the series after Jordan’s death, and I picked up a few of his other works prior to his entry in to Wheel of Time to see if he was worthy to pick up Jordan’s torch. He’s worthy… MORE than worthy. His Mistborn Trilogy is great and the first book of his new series “The Way of Kings” was excellent. Well, Wheel of Time book 14 “A Memory of Light” will be out late this year or early next year, so I’m going thru it again.
But at about book 5 the Wheel of Time kind of takes a noticeable dip in quality, and I needed a little break. So I did take some time and have now finished reading Jestmore’s “River of Murder.” It’s kind of a gritty “modern noir” detective story… and I liked it. It takes place here in Kansas, going back and forth between small town Kansas (like the one I grew up in) and Wichita (where I live now.) Is it any wonder the book “spoke to me?” Actually it reminded me of the novels of Joe R. Lansdale, whom I recommend as well. "River of Murder" is maybe a little too “adult” for kids, but it’s a fun easy read that I highly recommend (especially for Kansans and Wichitans.)