I am a retired patent attorney living in Florida with my wife Sonya and our feline, Tsuki. I spent most of my life in the Washington, D.C. area. I grew up in McLean, Virginia before the beltway was constructed. Some of my classmates in grade school lived on nearby farms. McLean had a small town feel to it. Gossip spread without the Internet. Party lines were common. Secrets were hard to keep.
When I was in my early thirties, my life pivoted when I was accused of a crime I didn't commit. My defense counsel and I discussed plans for my likely indictment and possible imprisonment. I could expect to be handcuffed and paraded in front of the media. This experience with the so-called justice system ended after a two year ordeal without an indictment and without going to trial. Even so, it could have ended differently.
Sadly, I will never fully believe that prosecutors, investigators, or the government are as interested in the truth as they are in getting a conviction, an attitude that I share with the semi-fictional Shep Harrington.
The Shep Harrington SmallTown® Mystery series began with the publication of Lonesome Song in 2002. Before writing Lonesome Song, I was intent on writing action-spy stories. In 1990, I read "The Last Poorhouse In Virginia; An Era's End at the Place Where No One Was Meant to Stay," a story article written by Jim Naughton and published in the Washington Post. The story chronicled the lives of the residents of what had been a poor farm, a place where the unemployed and unemployable were sent to trade work for food. As I chased dreams of writing the next Clancy thriller, the story of the last remaining residents of the Shenandoah County facility continued to haunt me.
I grew up visiting old plantations where my mother's relatives once lived. As a child, I didn't fully appreciate the history of these places or the people I met there. But the experiences were imprinted on my memory.The poor farm in Mr. Naughton's article fused with these memories. I was teased by questions about who might have lived on a poor farm, how they might have arrived there and what was going to happen to them. Ultimately, spies gave way to a story about a small town, a once famous country singer, a collection of old forgotten poor farm residents, and a murder. Shep Harrington, a young disbarred attorney, entered the mix and the story almost wrote itself.
While I work hard to reveal how bad people do bad things, the core cast of the SmallTown® Mystery series works equally hard to remind me of their good intentions and natural humor. I hope you will visit with them soon.
The Gene Police: A Shep Harrington Smalltown Mystery
- By: Elliott Light
- Narrated by: James Romick
- Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
It was eugenics that compelled white doctors to attempt to murder Baby John. It was compassion that led to his kidnapping. And it is the cruelest of circumstances - the murder of Jennifer Rice - that 50 years later leads Shep Harrington to search for Baby John....
A very powerful story!
- By GEL on 02-19-19
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Regular price: $19.95