Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"Devil in the Grass" by Christopher Bowron

Devil in the Grass
(A Jackson Walker Thriller Book 1)
by Christopher Bowron

Devil in the Grass (A Jackson Walker Thriller Book 1) by Christopher Bowron

Devil in the Grass by Christopher Bowron is currently ON SALE for only $0.99. You can read my review and an excerpt below. You can also read my blog post on the sequel, The Palm Reader.

The Palm Reader by Christopher Bowron

When his pro football career fails, Jackson Walker returns to his home in southwest Florida to sort out his life. He lands an internship with Republican state senator James Hunter, whose Clean Water Bill puts him at odds with influential members of The Brotherhood of Set, a Satanic cult. They have deep roots in Florida, and are led by the sinister Henrietta LePley.
After Walker begins a relationship with a member of the Brotherhood, he is framed for the horrific killing of two elderly people. To clear his name, Jackson turns to his Seminole family to evade the police and a particularly nasty bunch of malevolent characters who specialize in the disposal of dead bodies. The Everglades provides an ancient and frightening setting for the unfolding action that will prove whether Jackson Walker will pull himself free from the dark evil that lurks there.

Chapter 1
JACK THANKED THE STOCKY Seminole woman with a nod as she handed him his coffee in a tin can. She had been sent by his grandfather to look after him while he was in hiding. The can burned the tips of his fingers as he held it gingerly. No coffee cups? He reminded himself this was a hunt camp in the middle of nowhere. He stirred in some sugar and watched the woman as she left through a tattered drape that half-covered the only doorway. The room contained nothing more than a cot, a table, and two chairs. The plank-board floors and walls were a collage of warped paneling and narrow horizontal logs. The room smelled musty, with a slight undertone of rotting wood. The lone window looked out over the grass plain and wetlands of the Big Cyprus Swamp. A rusty piece of bug screen attached to the frame was covered with duct tape. The hot breeze did little to change the oppressive, stifling heat pressing down on Jack’s already sagging shoulders.
Jack took a sip of the strong coffee, careful not to burn his lips on the hot tin. He set the drink down on the table and leaned forward, running his hands through his sweat-drenched hair, his mind churning. He’d become a shell of the man he had once been. Perhaps it was the fact that he was sober, or perhaps it was the reality of his dire situation, that allowed him to lay a finger on the truth for the first time in years. He breathed a heavy sigh. His mother’s death during his senior year in college had hit him harder than he’d been willing to admit. He blamed himself in part, and had a hard time dealing with his guilt. He’d buried his emotions, trying his best to be the strong guy. But then he’d cracked. His fall from grace had been steady, including substance abuse and the demise of his professional football career. He’d allowed himself to slide into despair, to the point where he felt he didn’t know himself anymore.
Jack stared at the ceiling, slowly shaking his head. He remembered idolizing great football players like Joe Montana and John Elway when he was a teenager, trying to emulate the way they played the game. He appreciated their skill, but it was the fearlessness with which they marched onto the field that had mattered to him; they seemed oblivious to the adversities they faced and allowed their abilities to produce great results, unhindered by doubt. Jack worked hard to exhibit many of the same characteristics during his high school football days, and then later at the University of Florida. He’d grown into a person that his teammates looked up to, the one who didn’t back down. He was a gamer.
Jack had fallen a long way from that standard these past few years. He didn’t blame anyone. He’d become soft and apathetic. He’d made a half-assed attempt to clean himself up after hitting what he thought was rock bottom. He realized now that he had never dealt with the root of his problems, he’d only masked the symptoms.
The magnitude of his situation and the possible consequences hit him like a slap to the forehead. He picked up the Naples Daily News, which lay at his feet. It was the third time he’d read the front page since waking an hour earlier. His picture was prominently displayed with the headline beneath it:
A Fort Myers man in his mid-twenties is the subject of a massive manhunt in connection with the slaying of a man and woman in the small town of Clewiston, near Lake Okeechobee Tuesday night. The suspect, Jackson Walker, is described as 6-foot-2, with dark hair and athletic build. He was last seen in LaBelle, east of Fort Myers.
Walker, a local football star, played three years for the University of Florida Gators. Walker was later drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and played three years in their system. He currently works as an intern for Sen. James Hunter.
Walker is believed to be connected with a local Satanic cult called The Brotherhood of Set, based in South Florida. Not much is known about the cult, or whether it is associated with other Satanic sects within the country.
Details and names of the deceased are being withheld pending further investigation. Anyone with information or knowledge of his whereabouts should call the Lee County Sheriff’s hotline. Walker is considered armed and dangerous.
Jack threw the paper into the far corner of the room. “Fuckin’ hell! . . . Cult leader, armed and dangerous? Come on.” He shook his head. Jack possessed nothing more than the clothes on his back and a little cash in his wallet. Reading the newspaper again infuriated him.
The Naples Daily was a small rag, but by now his story could be on WINK news, maybe even Fox TV, his history dissected and the media hounding anyone closely associated with him. He shook his head once again. This doesn’t look good. He stood up and paced the small room. He was not a devil worshiper, nor was he a cult leader; he needed to prove his accusers wrong.
He’d known that there were risks associated with his involvement with Satanists. He blamed his naivet√© for becoming involved with Sarah. It could have happened to any red-blooded American male, and he was paying a massive price for chasing that woman. Now he was accused of murder, facing a long prison sentence, and perhaps the death penalty. He would not turn himself in—not yet. He couldn’t get caught by the Satanists either; that would end badly. He shuddered.
He was stuck in the middle of the largest swamp in the United States, sweating profusely in a small, dismal hut. If he were to give up at this point, he wouldn’t be able to prove his innocence. He owed that much to himself and his family. He needed time to figure things out. Why me? What were his assailants’ motivations? He didn’t think it a coincidence that the whole affair began shortly after he was hired by Senator Hunter. He had been drawn into some sort of conspiracy? To what end? Had he been preyed upon because of his apathetic state? He banged his fist on the table. Most importantly, he needed to become the Jack Walker he had once been. He could feel the fury building in him like he hadn’t experienced in a long time. He would need this emotion to get out of the mess he was in.
Jack paced the room waiting for Janie to arrive. Janie worked for a Naples law firm, and had been hired by his Aunt Rebecca from Atlanta. Jack didn’t think that the situation was going to be resolved with legalities, but for the time being, he was out of options and had to trust his aunt. He lay down on the rusty cot. At least the bedsheets are clean, he thought. Aunt Rebecca took care of everything. The smell of the freshly laundered bedding gave him some comfort. He put his hands behind his head and closed his eyes, thinking about the crazy events of the past few months.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Devil in the Grass, by Chris Bowron, is a clever and suspenseful thriller with an intriguing story and variety of unique characters. [...] A great sense of place, with a myriad of plot twists and turns, make this a page-turner which is hard to put down!" ~ Sheila Guenzer
"Devil in the Grass is an intense thriller filled with riveting suspense and chilling characters which quickly capture and a hold a reader's attention from beginning to end." ~ Stacie Theis
"A fast paced book that you can’t put down. I thought this would take me a while to read (from the kindle estimate) - wrong! You somehow know that Jackson is one of the good guys and is an innocent in a very bad situation. The scenarios are well written and the characters very believable. The ending is good and leaves a possible link into another book- please???!!" ~ Misfits farm
"You'll need a strong stomach and the ability to block out visualization to read this book, but it is not only cruelly graphic, it has a wonderfully crafted plot and well-developed characters, a pleasant flowing writing style, good life-like dialogues and a lot of Florida atmosphere." ~ Barbara Tsipouras
"What a pleasant surprise. [...] you really can't put the book down. A roller coaster ride of surprising twists and turns and I will have to read more of Chris Bowron's books. It feels so professionally written I would understand if a major publisher picks up this author. I loved this book." ~ Jack Gold

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
It all starts the day Jack Walker meets Sarah. She seems to be the perfect woman - apart from the fact that she is a member of a Satanic cult, The Brotherhood of Set. Jack finds himself at the center of a century-old feud and is wrongly accused of killing two people. Could his current predicament have something to do with the fact that he works for Senator James Hunter? Jack sets out to prove his innocence, but he must contend with the cops, Satanists, and the creepy McFadden brothers. Will he make it out alive?
Devil in the Grass is told from multiple points-of-view in the third person. Each narrator lends a unique quality to the story and, while their accounts overlap, there is no repetition. This is a clever technique used to reveal the motivations of all of the different parties involved. The author skillfully uses the Florida Everglades setting as a character in its own right; you can practically feel the “no-see-ums” biting. While this story is complete, the author leaves it open for a sequel. I read an ARC with a number of editing errors which have hopefully been corrected in the final version.
This is a tale of intrigue, sex, and politics, with a bit of witchcraft thrown in for good measure. Sure to hold your attention until the last page.
Warnings: coarse language, sex scenes, graphic violence.

About the Author
Christopher Bowron
Christopher Bowron’s roots stretch back four generations in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, voted the prettiest town in Canada. Christopher is the owner of a successful Real Estate Brokerage, Niagara-on-the-Lake Realty. He has a bachelor of arts from Brock University and is a lover of fine wine, sport. Christopher has a second residence in southwest Florida where he has spent a good part of his life since childhood. Southwest Florida is the backdrop for his first novel, Devil in the Grass, a number one bestseller, published by K√∂ehler Books in March 2016.
Christopher has just finished the sequel to Devil in the Grass, a thriller called The Palm Reader. Jackson Walker returns to find himself in another paranormal mix up as he is now working for Peter Robertson, where he attempts to find a client mixed up in a taboo porn ring, at the same time, Walker is stalked by Mason Matye, head of the Church of Satan. The Palm Reader was published by Koehler Books in June 2018.
Christopher has also just finished a non-fiction book, Waiting For Morning Time, about three men whose boat sank during a fishing expedition in the Gulf of Mexico. They spent 48 hours floating in shark-infested waters off the coast of Venice Florida. His Lit Agent, Mary Ellen Gavin, is currently shopping this title.