A Far Gone Night
Thomas O’Shea Mystery, #2
Publisher: Neverland Publishing Compan
Date of Publication: September 27, 2014
Number of pages: 300
Cover Artist: Joe Font
Suffering from insomnia, wise-cracking tough guy Thomas O’Shea goes for a late-night stroll through the peaceful streets of Rockbluff, Iowa, and finds himself pausing downtown on the bridge that spans the Whitetail River. When he glances downstream, something catches his eye…something that looks like a body. He scrambles down to the riverbank, pulling the body of a young girl from the water. The girl is naked, with two bullet holes in the back of her head. Ever suspicious of law enforcement, O’Shea chooses not to mention the bullet holes when Deputy Stephen Doltch, on routine patrol, discovers him at the river’s edge.
When the coroner’s report lists the cause of death as “drowning,” Thomas confronts the coroner, but his questions are met with hostility. Then the coroner and his wife disappear, along with the body of the dead girl.
Teaming up with his friend Lunatic Mooning and Clancy Dominguez, an old buddy from his Navy SEAL days, Thomas and the other two men join together to bring justice to the dead girl, a quest that takes them to the Chalaka Reservation in Minnesota, seedy businesses adjacent to the Chalaka Casino, and straight into the world of organized crime.
A fast-paced story, laugh-out-loud moments and familiar, quirky characters from Carenen’s debut novel, Signs of Struggle, continue to enliven the complex world of Thomas O’Shea. Once again, Thomas gears up to find answers that will reveal who put the bullets in the girl’s head, why she was killed, and her identity, which may hit a little too close to home…
My name is Thomas O’Shea, and I am the main guy in John Carenen’s books, Signs of Struggle and, more recently, A Far Gone Night. I have issues. My faith in God is a little shaky, I drink a bit too much, and I like violence. Not for its own sake, but as a way of cleaning up messes made by bad guys.
My wife and two teenage daughters were killed by a drunk driver a few years ago, leaving me and my English Bulldog, Gotcha, as my only family. I used to live in south-central Georgia, but moved when I lost my wife, Karen; and my girls, Michelle and Annie. Too many memories. Too much pain remembering all those reminders of what I had, now gone. So I headed “home” to Iowa, where I grew up.
So I bought a house outside of Rockbluff a small town in northeast Iowa, and tried to retreat, tried to recover. But since I moved, I keep bumping into situations that pull me into worse situations. I stumbled onto a farm accident that wasn’t, and by the time I got through asking questions, there were dead people. In the South, “He needed killing” is a justifiable defense for shooting someone. I kept that with me. Then one night I pulled a body out of the river. The dead girl had two bullet holes in the back of her head, and when the county coroner gave cause of death as “drowning,” I started asking questions. The county coroner was a good guy, and so nothing was making sense. Surely he had discovered the bullet wounds during his examination. What was he covering up?
Then the county coroner and his wife disappeared, along with the girl’s body. Always a curious sort, I began asking questions, and the answers weren’t pretty. Soon I found myself following my nose to the Chalaka Casino on the Chalaka Indian Reservation in Minnesota, and quickly realized I could use some help as I was going up against some heavy hitters with organized crime connections. So I got my friend Lunatic Mooning (Ojibwa Indian owner of The Grain o’ Truth Bar & Grill, my favorite hangout) and Clancy Dominguez, an old buddy from Navy SEAL Training days, and went to work.
I didn’t expect to be outnumbered in a shootout at a deserted farmhouse in an Iowa blizzard, and I didn’t expect to be shot – twice – but things happen in the course of asking uncomfortable questions. Besides, some people consider me a smartass, so there’s that.
Fortunately, the woman I love who refuses to marry me, Olivia Olson, pitched in and helped me recover, or I wouldn’t be writing this today.
Ahhhh, I’ve already told you too much. My suggestion? Buy Carenen’s novels and get all the truth about my exploits. You’ll find me between those pages. Oh, and there’s another novel about me in the offing, to be finished and available late 2015 – The Face on the Other Side. My name’s Thomas O’Shea.
John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared in numerous popular and literary magazines, and he has been a featured columnist in newspapers in North and South Carolina. A novel, Son-up, Son-down was published by the National Institute of Mental Health.
His debut Thomas O’Shea mystery novel, Signs of Struggle, was published in October of 2012. A Far Gone Night, the long-anticipated sequel, continues the exploits of the enigmatic protagonist and the quirky characters of Rockbluff, Iowa.
John is currently an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. He and his wife live in their cozy cottage down a quiet lane in northern Greenville, South Carolina. He is a big fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox.
To connect with the author online:
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