Covey Jencks – My Audio Book Review

COVEY JENCKS
by
SHELTON L. WILLIAMS
Narrated by Kathy James
Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: February 10, 2018
Number of Pages: 229 pages
Audio Book Length: 6 hours, 38 minutesSCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey, and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another! 
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PRAISE FOR COVEY JENCKS:
 
Williams seamlessly braids a murder mystery with a love story and a drama about the pervasiveness of racism in the South… The author’s prose is buoyantly eccentric, both insightful and self-effacingly humorous. And the clues Covey and JayJay track down are meted out to readers with impressive judiciousness: The author never prematurely surrenders so much information that the conclusion is rendered foregone while the tale’s swift pace prevents it from becoming tedious. An engrossing crime drama that’s both entertaining and provocative. — Kirkus Indie
My

Covey Jencks – My Audiobook Review

 

Covey Jencks was my second audiobook and I’m glad it was. It was highly enjoyable to listen to especially after about the mid-point of the story. Shelton Williams crafted a deep mystery surrounding an old murder that intertwined a fast-paced story around a various cast of characters. As the story goes Covey, who left Odessa to become a lawyer, had been haunted by someone’s murder when he was a boy. The driving force of his move back to his hometown was to find out who actually committed the murder.

For the narration perspective, the reading of the front book material caught me off guard, as well as the story being read by a woman given the lead character was a male. After listening to the first few chapters that became a moot point. Kathy James carried the story well even given some mispronunciations. I found the reading speed of 1.25x to be best to listen to this book.

My initial thought was how can a small book of fewer than 165 pages have seventy-four chapters? I’ve always been chided by having small chapters in my own writing. As the audiobook progressed the small chapters made sense and soon I realized that each chapter stood on its own and lead into the next chapter.

What I picked up on during this reading was the many aspects of historical authenticity Shelton used to tell this story. From how some Texas towns had areas known as “The Flats”, to Underwood’s Restaurant, to how cars used to be washed, to the lone Mode O’Day store – this story could indeed have been nonfiction. Even though Shelton made mention for using the language he did, that factual language is what carried the story with even more legitimacy.  Also loved that the author incorporated one of my favorite movie characters, Keyser Söze from the movie “The Usual Suspects.” Towards the end of this story, the description reference became perfect for the character situation solving this murder.

Then there are the last few words of the book… making me wonder if indeed the story of Covey will continue!

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.


Kathy James
My first part time job while I was in high school was announcing at the local radio station, and I had fun being “on the air” and using my sarcastic sense of humor.  I worked in the radio business for more than twenty years. My favorite pastimes are teaching figure skating, getting lost in a great book, and watching movies.  I narrate and produce audio books in my home studio, and I truly enjoy bringing an author’s characters to life with an audio book. I currently reside in Minnesota with my slightly overweight cat and two childlike golden retrievers.  
 
 
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A Miracle of an Angel Cat

File Nov 29, 12 46 39 PM copy

As many of you know, I am not highly religious. I often doubt any higher power exists beyond what we can see. There are times that I do believe with all my heart that something or someone is watching over us. And for this moment time when I captured this photo, I can say with certainty that someone was watching over me when this little angel appeared.

Here is the background on the photo:

I took this photo in December 2014 and aptly named her God’s Cat.

She appeared during a frustrating time when I was working in the Nazareth, Texas cemetery installing maps. The glass and metal case doors were extremely heavy and the West Texas wind was not cooperating. Each case door had to be lifted vertically, secured, and weighed about 60 pounds.

My curses ceased when this grey-blue-eyed cat appeared and started intertwining herself around my feet and legs, purring incessantly, along with a few meows. I had to pause many times so I would not trip or step on her. Those pauses gave me enough breathing room to actually stop and breath. Her presence calmed me and I was able to finish the installation of the maps even given the occasional gust of wind. At that moment in time, God knew what I needed.

Today, this little angel cat still reminds me it’s not a higher power who lets us down, it’s people who have an unwavering ability to let you down in life that you come across daily.  In reflection when I still look into her grey-blue eyes I’m thankful knowing God or an angel provided a calming gift in my life without me even realizing I needed one.

Life has changed dramatically since 2014 and this photo reminds me of this…

We all need small daily miracles.

We all need to believe that something more than this crazy world exists.

Often it is just a blue-eyed cat to remind us to stop, breathe, and enjoy life.