The Question Is Murder
by Mark Willen
July 5-16, 2021 Tour
That's the question posed to him by a mysterious young woman who says she is being stalked and harassed by an ex-lover too powerful to be stopped any other way. Sam knows that journalists should never get personally involved in a story, but he finds he is being drawn deeper and deeper into this one whether he wants it or not.
So when Senator Wade Morgan turns up murdered, Sam fears the worst. Worried about his own involvement, the man who normally has all the answers is now the one making questionable decisions.
As his investigation into the Senator's death begins to spin out of control, Sam finds he can't let go—even as the case grows more complicated and the threats against his life become more immediate. With the fate of a young woman at stake and his own life in jeopardy, Sam can't back down until the killer—whoever that may be—is brought to justice.
But this is D.C., and justice can be in short supply.
This is not an action packed novel. It's a mystery for readers who like reading character thought. A great deal of the narrative consists of characters thinking about what they've done, might do, what others might have done or might do. The narrative centers on a journalist who answers ethical questions in a newspaper column and teaches a class on ethics for journalists so there is much thought in the novel about the ethics of actions characters have taken or might take. We frequently have characters recounting what happened rather than actually reading of the event as it happens.
Willen's writing style has a combination of points of view. The actions of Sam, the main character and sort of hero, are presented in the narrator point of view. But there are also first person points of view, first Kelly, the author of the inquiry to Sam, and then Peg, the wife of the murdered man, and then a man, a suspect. Willen does identify the characters at the head of the chapters but I find it is still a disconcerting way to read. When Sam is with one of the people previously written in first person, for example, it is written in the narrator style. I thought it a bit odd and it reveals the difficulty of various first person points of view.
This is a novel for readers who enjoy reading about characters thinking more than characters taking decisive action.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Amateur Sleuth, Psychological Thriller
Published by: Pen-L Publishing
Publication Date: May 14th 2021
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1683132246 (ISBN-13: 978-1683132240)
Series: The Question Is Murder is not included in a series.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
As a journalist, he has been a reporter, columnist, blogger, producer, and editor at The Voice of America, National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly, Bloomberg News, and Kiplinger. Though based primarily in Washington, he has reported from datelines as varied as New York, Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Johannesburg. Having retired from journalism in 2010, Mark now divides his time between writing fiction and volunteer work. As a former graduate-level teacher of journalism ethics, he also tries to help people figure out the right thing to do in difficult situations through his blog, TalkingEthics.com Mark has a Masters of Arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University (2010) and a Bachelor of Arts in government from Dartmouth College.
The Question Is Murder is Mark’s debut mystery, but there is always an element of suspense in his novels. His earlier Jonas Hawke series, three books set in a small but troublesome town in Vermont, were also published by Pen-L. His short stories have appeared in The Rusty Nail, Corner Club Press, and The Boiler Review.
Mark lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Janet.
Catch Up With Our Author:
BookBub - @MarkWillen
Instagram - @markwillen7
Twitter - @MarkWillen
Facebook - @MarkWillenAuthor
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