Jesse Damon Crime Novels
Much of my life has been spent living and working with people who often don’t have a voice in our society. I have loved reading ever since I learned how (at the unfortunately late stage of 5th grade, when I got intensive tutoring to help deal with what would be today called a severe reading disability) but have been struck by how relatively few stories that deal with the common blue collar work world and the people who inhabit it, especially the ones who fall afoul of the criminal justice system and don’t have the resources, financial and personal, to cope with the consequences.
Of course, some exceptions come to mind—Les Miserables being an outstanding example—and some books, like the crime novels of late Barbara Seranella. I am also fascinated by the psychological suspense of Margaret Yorke, which explores the psyches of often lower class people or those caught up in shady, sometimes criminal, misfortunes.
One of my aims with the Jesse Damon series is to give that voice to someone who tries to persevere, dignity intact, in the face of daunting misfortune.
After nearly twenty years in prison on a murder conviction, Jesse Damon has been released, a home detention monitor strapped to his ankle. Determined to make it and mindful of his parole restrictions, he struggles with life outside prison. He finds a basement apartment, a job on the overnight shift at a steel fabrication plant and a few people who treat him like anybody else. Especially Kelly, a woman who works in the shipping department. He seems to be making it. Until Mitch, forklift driver on the shift, is found murdered in the warehouse. The investigating detective doesn’t want to look any further than Jesse to close the case. He’s not fussy about the methods he uses to gather evidence. If Jesse isn’t going down for this, he will have to be the one to figure out who killed Mitch and why.
Jesse Damon has spent most of the last twenty years in prison on a murder conviction. Now paroled, he’s trying to beat the odds and stay out of prison with a pair of overactive cops watching him for mistakes. He’s got a one-room apartment, a job working the overnight shift at a factory, and some-times girlfriend Kelly. If he can just stay out of trouble, he may even be able to join the union.
But when he pays his last respects to Mrs. Coleman, his foster mother, he finds out that her death is being investigated as a homicide. And he’s the prime suspect.
Jesse’s life is getting complicated fast, what with a group of religious fanatics in saffron robes opening a tabernacle in the abandoned pizza parlor over his apartment, problems at work, and Kelly’s custody battle with her ex. It’s a lot to deal with while he tries to find out who really killed Mrs. Coleman and get the cops off his back.
Send-off for a Snitch, in which a police informant is murdered. He has been trying to implicate Jesse in an attempt to save himself from going to prison. Jesse is the natural suspect.
The final book currently contracted in the series is Brothers in Crime, where Jesse’s older brothers, who were the ones who got him into so much trouble in the first place, twenty years ago, surface and try to get him involved in more nefarious schemes.
These e-books are available directly through Musa Publishing, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other popular sources for e-books.