Leisure, Sep 2008, $7.99
Feeling like a post traumatic syndrome disorder victim, bone weary from reporting all the scandalous news fit to print, reporter Joe Kieran leaves the Chicago Tribune. He accepted a journalist position as the night reporter at the Terrel Daily Times. Two months on the job Joe is bored. His daily monitoring the police radio has led to his driving to a reported scene once and that proved a false alarm.
Remaining diligent, the persistent Joe is stunned when Dispatch directs a mobile unit to investigate an apparent leaper off the Terrel Peak. It was not the leap that surprises Joe, but the Dispatcher’s use of the words “another one“. Joe begins investigating the history of Peak leapers. He discovers a harrowing seemingly valid long term trend. On the same date in May someone young jumps. Warned to back off his inquiries, Joe continues to dig obsessed with the need to know why seemingly rationale contented children with no prior suicidal signs abruptly leap the Peak to their deaths. Interviewing five seemingly connected women, four of them still grieving mothers, reticent townsfolk especially the cops and his peers on the paper, and a self proclaimed Gypsy fortune teller, Joe will relearn the lesson he was taught in Chicago, but deadlier this time, that the truth does not set you free.
This exciting suspense thriller has the audience hooked with a need to know why once Joe begins questioning what the dispatcher meant by “another one“. The story line is driven by the small-town reluctance to share anything with the outsider, a big city reporter who is rusticating in their minds. Joe is terrific as he struggles to find out what makes a mentally healthy child decide suddenly to leap. John Everson has written a powerful tale as readers wonder whether it is a coincidence, the supernatural or a serial killer behind the suicides.