The morning mists are still rising in Whippoorwill Hollow when two aging friends find themselves staring at each other: one pointing a gun and the other beaten and chained to a tree. Their love for the same woman has buckled under the weight of a long-held secret -- until now. Out of the blue mountains of Virginia comes a 1960s American tale bound with the regrets people carry to their graves and a tumultuous chance at redemption. Three friends decide if their hearts will lock them into old wounds or lead them to new love.
Ken Oder was born in Virginia in the coastal tidewater area near the York and James Rivers, where military installations during World Wars I and II fueled the growth of urban centers like Norfolk, Hampton, and Newport News. His father worked for the Navy Mine Depot in Yorktown and later as a Hudson dealer until he heard his calling to preach. When he became the minister at Mount Moriah Methodist Church in 1960, the family moved to White Hall, Virginia, a farm town of about fifty people at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountains and the rural culture were a jarring contrast to the busy coastal plains, but once the shock wore off, Ken came to love it there. The mountains and hollows are spectacularly beautiful. The people are thoughtful, friendly, and quietly courageous. White Hall became his home, and his affection and respect for the area and its people have never left him.Ken and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he practiced law and served as an executive until he retired. They still live near their children and grandchildren in California, but a piece of his heart never left White Hall, and that place and time come out in his stories.
May 5, 1968
Virginia State Penitentiary
When two men meet in a maximum security visitation room on May 5, 1968, they have only one thing in common: they both want their lives back. On one side of the window sits Kenneth Deatherage, sentenced to death for the brutal rape and murder of a young woman. On the other side is Nate Abbitt, a successful prosecutor until he drank his way through a midlife crisis.
Nate's only path to redemption is to represent Deatherage on appeal, but his investigation soon uncovers hints of corruption in the county justice system, and Nate finds himself accused of murder by the same forces that convicted his client. As Nate risks his life - and several others - in the fight to clear his name, he makes the nasty discovery that he and his client have much more in common than he'd like to admit.
“Ken Oder debuts with an intelligent, atmospheric, and achingly romantic legal thriller. I loved this book, and I can’t wait for the next one.”
”" Pamela Fagan Hutchins, USA Best Book Award-winning author of Heaven to Betsy and the Katie and Annalise mysteries
“. . . an intriguing legal thriller that looks deeply at corruption in the jurisprudence system. The recovering alcoholic protagonist is a fascinating lead as he begins to regain his lost life when he accepts the harm he committed to innocent people, his wife, his mother, his mentor and himself. . . . the enjoyable storyline spins from a superb capital case to a more conventional David vs. Goliath thriller, fans will appreciate Ken Oder's strong historical fiction. "
- THE MYSTERY GAZETTE˃˃˃ Timely and compelling
“Moments after meeting his client, death-row inmate Kenneth Deatherage, attorney Nate Abbitt explains: Cases are pending before the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty. There's a nationwide moratorium on executions until the court rules. Ironically, just days after The Closing became available on Amazon, Oklahoma botched the execution of Clayton Lockett, who according to eye-witness accounts, tried to get up and speak after being given the supposedly lethal injection. Although this book is set in 1968 Virginia, the subject matter could hardly be more topical. . . . This is a great summer read. You won't be able to put it down. And whatever side of the issue you are on, The Closing should inform your view about capital punishment.”
- Marlene Munoz, Amazon reviewer
Beautiful heiress Catherine Gowrie has spent her life protected by one of America's wealthiest families.
Now Don Gowrie, her all-powerful father, is close to his greatest ambition - nomination as Presidential candidate. And nothing must be allowed to stand in his way.
But Sophie Narodni, a young journalist from Prague carries a secret that could destroy everything Don Gowrie has dreamed of - if he doesn't silence her first.
What the readers are saying
'Wonderful . . . it had me hanging off my seat'
'A roller coaster. Surprising and shocking twists'