So if everything goes as planned, Sewerville Book II: The Gentlemen from Kentucky will see the light of day at year’s end.
What’s it about, you ask? (I can hear you!) The back-of-the-book blurb might read something like this:
Following the explosive events that ended Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel, Boone Sumner is on the run, headed for the state capitol and the safety of law enforcement. When he finds only darkness and danger in the halls of authority, he turns to the FBI in a desperate play to save his own life as well as that of his child.
Meanwhile, his estranged wife Karen sets about the task of rebuilding her family’s criminal empire from the bloody ruin that Boone’s assault left behind. Her father and brother dead, she seeks help from the only friend she has left — a sinister man with deep ties in both the political and criminal underworld, a puppet master whose strings dangle over Boone’s path in ways that Boone never could have imagined.
From the hills of Kentucky to the swamps of Florida and Louisiana to the marble halls of the state capitol, crime remains the business of choice. Money is greed, and greed is power. And for The Gentlemen from Kentucky, business is better than it’s ever been…
As I’ve worked on this story it’s occurred to me that while the book shares many traits with the first Sewerville, in other ways it stands alone. Foremost is the choice of central character. While Boone Sumner held the main stage in the preceding story, this time it’s his wife Karen who steps to the forefront. As Boone fights for survival, Karen fights to rebuild the Sumner gangster empire.
The Gentlemen from Kentucky is as much about her journey into the depths of human malevolence as A Southern Gangster Novel was about her husband’s struggle to break free.
The story casts a wider net this time, too. Where Sewerville: A Southern Gangster Novel takes place exclusively in the Appalachian foothills, The Gentlemen from Kentucky expands into state politics and beyond the borders of Kentucky. Karen calls upon her father’s connections to find Boone and also shore up her own business interests, and that introduces us to several new characters and locales.
The second volume of Sewerville will also explore themes that I left mostly untouched in the prior book – this time, politics plays a big role, and that gives me an opportunity to comment on a lot of things we’re seeing in today’s headlines. 2016 is an election year, after all. I’m not here to beat anybody over the head with my opinions but I’m not hear to stay quiet, either. You’ll just have to trust that I can weave everything together without lecturing – something I am really working hard not to do. Nobody likes a political preacher, right?
As always, I’ll turn loose some occasional excerpts as I move forward through the murky literary waters. I’m as excited as I’ve been about anything I’ve ever written, and later this week I’ll share with you the new characters that play big in The Gentlemen from Kentucky. Until then, consider this your introduction to the story. I just had to tell you.