by Ronald Chapman
From the high desert of New Mexico comes a tale of mystery, murder and redemption. When journalist Kevin Pitcairn receives a disturbing letter from a serial killer, he is drawn into a compelling journey with profound psychological and spiritual implications, not just for the murderer, but for himself and society as a whole. As he tries to investigate and then tell the story, he finds himself battling his own inner demons and sordid history. Events conspire to propel an isolated matter to a national stage and audiences that are increasingly hostile. Forced to explore the roots of human psychology and sanity, Pitcairn must navigate moral and philosophical realms. What is the nature of evil? What powers of choice do humans actually possess? How may we be redeemed? And in the end, how do we reconcile with ourselves?
“You were up even earlier than usual, Cito,” she whispered with the Spanish lilt so common to New Mexican Hispanics. “The nightmare again?” she asked.
The irony of the nickname was not lost on him. Kevincito, Cito for short. Little Kevin. Pitcairn shook his head in response. “No, it was the letter. My instincts tell me to check it out. It’s a great story but I don’t really know what Davidson wants. And for reasons I can’t explain, I’m reticent.”
Maria Elena’s eyes blazed in response. “Why are you interested in that bastard at all? He deserves what he’s going to get!” To emphasize the point, she mimicked his impending execution with a full body spasm simulating the electricity coursing through him. Her glare locked onto his eyes before she spun on her heels to flip the eggs and stir the carne adovada.
Her infrequent bouts of steeliness always threw him off balance. He had learned to use the instant of quiet that followed to think before proceeding, and to swallow his tendency to react. It was simply a part of her capricious emotions.
“Emmy,” he began with her nickname, a playful variation on her initials, “if what Davidson writes is true, he’s not an evil man. And that’s a story that needs to be told.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ronald Chapman is owner of an international speaking and consulting company, Magnetic North LLC. In addition to international accreditation as a speaker and national awards for radio commentary, he is the author of two novels, My Name is Wonder (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016) and A Killer's Grace (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016 and 2012), two works of non-fiction, Seeing True: Ninety Contemplations in Ninety Days (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2008) and What a Wonderful World: Seeing Through New Eyes (Page Free Publishing, 2004) and the producer of three audio sets, Seeing True: The Way of Spirit (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2016, 2005), Breathing, Releasing and Breaking Through: Practices for Seeing True (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2015), and Seeing True – The Way of Success in Leadership (Magnetic North Audio, 2005). Ron provides a wide array of social media content at www.SeeingTrue.com, content for people in substance abuse recovery at www.ProgressiveRecovery.org, and other content from his master site, www.RonaldChapman.com. He holds a Masters in Social Welfare from The University at Albany (New York.) Prior to his relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008, he was a long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Note: A Killer’s Grace is one of two novels by Chapman being released simultaneously by Terra Nova Publishing, the other being My Name is Wonder. The publisher commented, ““It is remarkable that these two books can be so very different but somehow speak to the same messages.”
Website for other information from the author.
Link for ongoing social media content including blogs, v-logs, graphical materials, etc.
Link for materials relevant to those in recovery from substance abuse.
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The tour dates can be found here
4 out of 5 stars
A Killer’s Grace by Ronald Chapman is an introspective and philosophical look at the thorny issues of guilt and responsibility for one’s actions. Catalyzed by a letter from a convicted serial killer, journalist Kevin Pitcairn starts a controversial investigation that leads him to question the precepts of his life and forces him to face his own demons as well as stir up painful issues for those around him. His perseverance and drive force him to make sometimes unwelcome discoveries and changes his worldview forever.
This book was a bundle of contradictions for me. It started off relatively slowly, albeit punctuated by vivid imagery celebrating the wild beauty of the deserts and canyons of the American southwest. I felt removed from Pitcairn’s struggles at first, despite my appreciation for his canine companions and my vicarious enjoyment of the savory dishes he consumed. The more I followed this tenacious man on his journey, and saw how others responded to him, while learning about his past and the torments he struggles with, the more I became invested in his search.
There were periods that were a little ponderous for me, but I appreciated the focus on the ripple effect of our actions, and thought that the message of ‘violence begets violence’ is sadly very apropos for today’s society. I love the quote from Maya Angelou, “You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better you did better.” and think it gives a great overview of life.
There are definitely religious overtones to the story, despite the hero’s decided agnosticism, but his discovery of the components of grace support the concept of a higher power. I think this was an excellent tale of the importance of atonement and forgiveness in a story that parallels the phenomenon of flash flooding briefly touched upon, i.e. a quiet and unassuming journey that starts slowly and suddenly takes off like a juggernaut and sweeps away masses of preconceptions and changes the landscape of belief. I'm not sure I agree with the categorization of suspense for the genre but this is definitely a thought-provoking story of self-discovery and the search for grace.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review