A good story needs a bit of the wildness about it.
I wrote my first book Bricked after teaching in a school for at-risk students. Pat Riordan, the protagonist in my trilogy, was introduced in this novel.
While Bricked is fictional, the episodes and mannerisms of the characters personify life inside a school for disenfranchised youth.
In the follow-up novels, The Slip Swing and The Cues, Riordan, the teacher, has also taken on the role of an amateur shamus.
The Slip Swing has a paranormal bent. The third book, The Cues, finds Riordan uncovering facts surrounding an unsolved murder and the whereabouts of local missing women.
Each book is driven by hard dialogue, reflecting my years working in the criminal justice system and my experiences as a teacher.
My intent was to provide a fresh twist for the reader of mysteries and for the detective in all of us.
The Slip Swing
Pat Riordan has been named a person of interest in a missing woman case. Detective Sergeant Donald Cromwell says Riordan is also likely guilty in the disappearance of two other women. Fired from his teaching position, Riordan sets out to exonerate himself as Cromwell builds a case against him. Accompanied by a stray dog, Riordan prods onward through unexplained encounters. Pieces start to fall into place, but answers lead to more questions. This is the second book in the series of The Pat Riordan Stories, but the first in which the teacher turns sleuth.
A Pat Riordan Mystery
Jobless and divorced, Pat Riordan takes a little-sought-after teaching job at the District's school for the hard-to-handle, Wolfcreek.
His sense of loss makes him a good fit for the boys of the school who call their banishment from the mainstream "bricked."
Doug Donovan, the school's principal, agrees with Riordan that gentle, but firm teaching strategies are the best way for their kids to learn. But ego-driven administrators, who want the school's location for more promising students, feel otherwise and start a campaign to discredit the Wolfcreek staff and curriculum.
As the school year unwinds, Riordan finds his way into the personal life of one of the students, Bobby, and gets thrust into the role of rescuer when Bobby's mother is abused by a live-in boyfriend.
Bricked follows Riordan, the students, and staff, in what might be the school's final year.
The Cues finds teacher Pat Riordan settling into a new post at the local university.
Having exonerated himself a year earlier as a suspect in a missing persons case, Riordan is asked by a
colleague’s widow to look into her husband’s death—and so, reluctantly, Riordan once again finds himself in the fold of a who-done-it case.
Teaming up with another colleague Phil Rister and former homicide detective Mike Finn,
who has returned to the Midwest to find answers to the three-decades-old murder of his cousin,
the trio follow leads connecting the old murder to the present-day death of Riordan’s colleague
and a series of unsolved cases of missing women. The connections they make, which they come
to call the cues, take them into the dark underbelly of the college town they thought they knew
and the powerful forces behind it.
The Cues is my third novel in the Pat Riordan series, following Bricked and
The Slip Swing,