The Secrets of Riverbottom Road by C. G. Haberman.
For Jack Wiley, a respected writer, hell begins during a contentious meeting with his new supervisor. The hellfire continues with an emotionally charged trip to his hometown, where battering and bettering change him but does not prepare him for the fateful night that nearly destroys him.
From the moment Jack Wiley leaves his home in Loveland, Colorado, the odd feelings begin. His emotions of anger, annoyance, contempt, and sadness ebb and flow until he reaches his first stop in Kansas, where he begins to feel at home after thirty years away. The next day, as Jack descends into the river valley south of Lohfton, Nebraska, nostalgia grips him.
The latent images of friends and adversaries come into focus as he leans against his vehicle parked at the highway and Riverbottom Road intersection. In the next four days, Jack is welcomed, buffeted, denigrated, wined, dined, and humbled. Each day builds strength and love for his family, friends and unlocking the secrets of Riverbottom Road. The last night explodes with a fury that leaves him at the mercy of the reliable, decisive friends in his life.
5 Stars: Reflecting On Life!
Chapter One opens with Jack Wiley (writer) reflecting on his life, his wife Elise and the swing set standing empty in the yard, as his two grown daughters are now attending the college of their choice. He has the privilege of using his home office for his work, when he is not traveling. Miriam Mason, administrative assistant for the Public Information Office, reminds Jack of a staff meeting at one o’clock in the Denver at the Reclamation Bureau’s Conservation Division Office in Denver, 60 plus miles from his home in Loveland, Colorado.
Jack was recognized, within and outside the agency, for his positive impacts on water and land conservation practices in the western United States. His supervisor Nick Miller had abruptly resigned. Today would bring Jack great sadness and a contentious meeting between himself and Bertram C. Harvey (new supervisor). This day would set Jack on a path that nearly destroys his life.
October was the beginning of something new and something old. Elise packed her bags for a new career as Hospice Coordinator for the eastern slope of New Mexico border to the Wyoming border. Jack packed his bags for the two-week excursion through the Republican River Valley. After thirty years away from Lohfton, Nebraska. His visit will reflect some nostalgia, but the secrets of Riverbottom Road will reveal who his friends and enemies are.
Let me bring you into the story at Chapter 18:
…Most rural communities in south-central Nebraska had survived periodic economic downturns over the past two decades. A few towns made small industrial gains, but Lohfton remained in good health, grounded in the rural culture. As Jack strolled southeast, a question entered his mind: Why live in this part of the country? The answer: a slower life and an excellent place to raise a family with few worries.
…The community center and surrounding grounds occupied a full square block. The entrance faced southwest, providing a good view of the river and the trees adorned in various gold shades. A large river bend, cut off by the historical high flows, became an oxbow filled with water, seeping from the slow-flowing river. The U-shaped area became the center of attention by the town council, and eventually, a park with walking paths surrounded the new water body. Jack and Lori had spent many summer evenings on the trails talking about their futures.
…As Jack neared the building entrance, he noticed a Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a huge black Labrador retriever seated in the bed behind the club cab, eyes following his approach. A logo with pheasant and quail in flight covered the pickup doors. Stenciled beneath the birds: telephone and P.O. Box numbers. Arching over the game-bird logo were bold green words “Hunter’s Haven.” The big retriever stood as Jack neared the expensive pickup. When Jack walked in front of the truck, the dog moved to the other side, nostrils flaring as it sampled the unfamiliar scent.
…The community center glass door swung open; Walt Johnson stepped out. “Bart, sit.” Walt smiled at Jack and held out his hand. “You’ve changed little over all these years, Jack.” His head turned toward the pickup. “Bart!”
…Jack turned to look at the big Lab, tongue lolling out its slightly graying muzzle.
…“Not many people try to approach the truck,” Walt stated.
…“I wonder why,” Jack chuckled.
…He’s friendly, but you never know what an old dog might take a mind to do. Kinda like old farmers.”
…Would this black Labrador retriever be an Omen of what dangers lay ahead?
This is the 4th novel that I have read and reviewed by Author C G Haberman. I encourage you to read ‘The Secrets of Riverbottom Road’. This is a well written fictional literary mystery where the past, and the present intersect, to change Jack Wiley’s life forever.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Stand Alone Book
Paperback: 362 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published (November 4, 2020)
Global Library: Mystery (Literary Fiction)
Global Library: Fiction (Literary Mystery)
About The Author: C. G. Haberman was born and raised in south-central Nebraska.
For ten years he taught the biological sciences in two Nebraska high schools. He left education to take a position with the Nebraska environmental agency and over the next ten years moved through the ranks. His positions took him throughout Nebraska while working on surface and groundwater quality issues, wetlands, and a uranium mining proposal.
After Nebraska, C. G. worked in Washington and South Dakota, expanding his environmental work into the areas of enforcement, air quality and hazardous and solid waste. Before retiring he returned to teach for ten more years as a community college instructor and as an adjunct at a liberal arts college in Hastings, Nebraska.
Using his education and experience, he involved students by presenting real-life issues through Problem-Based Learning and hands-on field experiences.
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