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Covey Jencks by Shelton L. Williams
Covey Jencks grew up in Odessa, Texas. After college, he joined the Army, attended law school, clerked on the Fifth Circuit, and suffered a stint at a D. C. law firm. He quits a life of white privilege to return home to solve the mysterious 1979 murder of Freddie Johnson, a black employee at Covey’s family business. Her life matters to Covey. For cover Covey opens a small firm filled with big characters. Eventually another black woman reenters his life to become Covey’s crime-solving partner. Mexican gangs, Boston mobsters, and racist cops complicate but do not derail the successful investigation.
5 Star Book Review: If you long for freedom from all the things that hold your down, I suggest you get to know a young Texan lawyer named Covey Jencks, because he cherishes freedom and wide-open ranges.
Author Shelton L. Williams weaves this well written, fast-paced fiction with believable characters to take you back in America’s southern history, with enough suspense to keep you turning the page.
It was March 1979, when Alfreda (Freddie) Mae Johnson (a southern black women) died. It was her death that would eventually take young Covey Jencks from his beloved oil country of West Texas to the seat of political power in Washington D.C.
To understand Covey, we must start with his college days where Led Zeppelin filled the dorm halls, margaritas and weed played with the senses, and girls made Covey’s first night at school “the first day of the rest of my life”. Covey’s love for the month of September, (beginning of the school year) that made the launch of Jencks Law Firm perfect.
Depending on your age, you will relate to this time (1970’s through 1990’s) drenched in racial tensions, Vietnam war, college football pride, mobsters, gangs, bad cops, young love and for Covey, a nagging need to know what brought Freddie to such a violent end.
This is a great read and I am hoping that this is a prequel to the Covey Jencks series, as there are never enough sleuths to satisfy mystery, thriller suspense enthusiasts like myself.
Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network).
Series: Covey Jencks Mysteries (Book 1)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Private Investigators
Covey and JayJay Get Educated by Shelton L. Williams
Amateur detectives, Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls, set out to solve a triple murder and encounter a White Nationalist conspiracy.
5 Star Book Review: It is 1997 and Texas Lawyer Covey Jencks is in for a shock when his long-time college friend Cooper Dix calls him to report he is a suspect in a two murder cases. The setting is Baker College in West Waverly, Texas. The crime is cyanide poisoning. Possible motive, very rich alumni “pledging large memorial trusts in in the event of their deaths”. Just when nothing could get any worse the unthinkable happens.
In the riveting story, Covey and his partner in crime JayJay each tell their side of the investigation in this well written, fiction, crime mystery that will keep you fully engaged.
A proper murder investigation will require a unique approach. It will also require mauvering through Baker College liberal arts campus culture of both student body and administrators. In the past West Texas was known for resolving conflict with a handshake. Today, not so much, especially on Baker’s campus. The scary thing that struck me was, the issues of money, internal conflict, outside National politics, governmental policies and ethnic tension are simmering to the brink of eruption.
Could our liberal arts colleges be the fuse that ignites the nation today? Let me share with you some of Covey Jencks concerns in Chapter 13: Signs of the Times:
“What does a Nazi look like? We look at history books after the Second World War and the Hitlers, Goebels, and Himmlers look like monsters. Our minds are conditioned to see monsters. But in 1929, ’30, or even ’32, did they look like monsters to other Germans? Did the Germans who finally voted them into power look or feel like monsters? Or did they look like average, frustrated people who had grievances both against war reparations that hurt their economy and against the indignities of being disarmed and saddled with the guilt of World War I? Were they average people, angry that inflation was wreaking havoc on their economy and destroying middle-class jobs? Were they open to the charge that their government was weak, had stabbed them in the back, and was polluting “German Blood”? Were they willing to believe in big lies, because they felt powerless to change the intractable truths around them? Did anyone, inside or outside of Germany, offer them an alternative? We now condemn appeasement of Hitler, but what was done in the decade before to stop his rise? Note to self: get around to reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
These thoughts occurred to me as I looked at a modern-day Nazi in Austin, Texas. David Blood, in a small black-and-white photo, wearing a black T-shirt with white writing, was not an imposing figure. He looked to be five feet eight or so, had short, crew-cut, dirty blond hair, and there was not a bulging muscle or sharp fang in sight. To me, he looked like a skinny computer instructor, dressed in poor taste for Halloween. Was he a terrorist? Was he a murderer? Was he David Fain? Is there something to be feared in popular radio messages that espouse hate and conspiracy theories and armed vigilante groups that see the US government as the enemy? No less a political figure than Ronald Reagan once said, “. . . government is the problem.” Could all these strands of thinking converge to threaten democracy in America? Silly thoughts, I concluded. Today, the Cold War is over, the internet age lies just ahead, and globalization is the wave of the future. Hell, even China is going capitalist. History is over and liberal democracy won, says some East Coast brain. Why don’t I feel better about things?”
If you enjoyed Author Shelton L. Williams first book in the series titled ‘Covey Jencks’ and/or you are looking for a fiction crime thriller that will educate you in the culture on college campuses as well as give you the twists and turns that this author is best known for, ‘Covey & JayJay Get Educated’ is a must read.
Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network).
Series: Covey Jencks mysteries (Book 2)
Genre: Fiction Mystery, Terrorism Thrillers, Murder Thrillers
Washed In The Blood by Shelton Williams
The true story behind the Kiss and Kill murder in Texas in 1961
5 Star Book Review: Thrilling true crime story, so compelling, I had to find out the outcome. This is the third book that I have read from Author Shelton L. Williams and I admire Shelton’s strength in sharing his memories, thoughts and feelings about his cousin’s murder in Odessa, Texas.
Although Odessa, Texas was an oil boom-town in the 50s, it is still an example of small-town USA, where the community comes out to the ball field and hears the old-time religion from the church pews every Sunday.
Shelton skillfully brings the reader into his family background and the situation surrounding the now “famed 1961 ‘Kiss and Kill’ murder of a 17-year old would-be actress, Betty Jean Williams, whose ghost is said to haunt the Odessa High School campus to this very day.”
I dare say, most of us have skeletons in the family closet and depending on your hometown childhood drama, the murder of someone you knew or loved might be among those ghosts from your past. My heart goes out to Shelton, as he was close to his cousin Betty Jean Williams. One year apart in age, they shared similar friends, interests and as young teens, they shared the same questions about life, religion, death, politics and the events affecting their young lives.
I invite you to read Shelton’s account of his family, youth and this whole tragic situation. Stand with him in the Friendship Baptist Churchas the congregation sings the hymn “Never Alone” at Betty’s funeral. Shelton shares how “the irony of this beautiful song overwhelmed me. I was alone in a crowded room. Betty was alone in the coffin. Whatever comfort the song provided to others in the room, its impact on me was the opposite. I felt alone.”
Let me share a quote from Shelton in Chapter 17 “Who’s Mack?” “By the time the trial started, I was in my senior year. Life had moved on, and so had the interests and concerns of most of the other teenagers. I was consumed with the proceedings, but I was not allowed to attend. Uncle Joe had told my dad that it was best for me to “go on to school” while the trial went on. Its outcome was a foregone conclusion anyway.”
Or was it the outcome everyone expected? I invite you to attend the trial of Mack Herring, who is accused of the murder. Experience the courtroom drama with trial lawyer, Warren Burnett. Read the jury’s decision and come to your own conclusion.
Read the prolific writings that Betty Jean Williams left behind and encounter her ghost as it is said to haunt Odessa High School.
As with most traumatic events in youth, these events along with normal growing up experiences worked behind the scenes to shape Shelton L. Williams life. Life moved forward for Shelton as he left the ghost of Betty behind, and became the writer he is today. He shares this incredible touching, heartwarming, truly sad story, because he had to voice the events from his perspective.
It is time for you to read about the 1961 “Kiss and Kill” Murder for yourself. Even better, get his audio-book and hear it unfold.
Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network).
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature, True Crime, Historical Biographies, Biographies of Lawyers & Judges, Lawyer & Judge Biographies
Summer of ’66 by Shelton Williams
In the August 2006 Texas Monthly article on Charles Whitman (“96 Minutes,” by Pamela Colloff), Shelton Williams is a character in the recounting of the Whitman tragedy. Shelly was there when the shooting started, but it was not his first encounter with the young man who weaken so much havoc on that hot August day in Austin in 1966. While Shelly and Charlie did know each other, they were not friends and they were not adversaries at the University of Texas in the spring and summer of 1966. They were just two guys with troubled families, personal insecurities, and challenged young marriages. Summer of ’66 is not about Charles Whitman and it is not about why the two young men took such different paths. It is memoir about life at UT, about a mystery man, and about a young man and woman who faced a changing and dangerous world in a courageous way. Charles Whitman is simply a character in this true story.
Shelton and Janell Williams survived August 1, 1966, and the summer of ’66. Shelly got a PhD in International Studies, taught at Austin College for thirty-six years and through the organization he founded and of which he is president, The Osgood Center for International Studies, continues to run the Washington Program for Austin College students and students from around the world. Janell graduated from Austin College and worked twenty-five distinguished years for the Social Security Administration. They now live in the Washington, DC area. Each thanks the other for forty-two years of eventful married life, and both look forward to the next “five-year review” of their marriage. It comes up in 2009.
Review: by Amazon Customer. 5.0 out of 5 stars
June 15, 2017. Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A remarkable book. Shelton Williams is a talented author and his personal involvement with the tragedy puts him at center stage to share his tale.
Review: SanIsaac B. Morgan. 4.0 out of 5 stars
December 7, 2006. Format: Paperback
This is a sweet follow up to Dr. Williams first book, Washed in the Blood. It tells the story of his last summer at the University of Texas before going to grad school and his life with his lovely wife, Janell. He was acquainted with Charles Whitman, the sniper in the UT tower who randomly shot at people in the streets of Austin, before being killed by two very brave Austin police officers. It asks the question, “Why do some people facing certain adverse situations become stronger, while others snap?” If you would like a taste of the feel of 1960’s America during its loss of innocence, this is a great place to start.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Drama & Plays, Regional & Cultural
About The Author: Shelton L. Williams is proud to be a Texan story-teller. He has a PhD in International Relations, but publishing is his end goal.
Author Shelton L. William has published five books and contributed to two others. He chooses write about crime and society, because he can present complications, brain teasers, and personal stories. His book titles are Covey Jencks (mystery, thriller & suspense), Washed In The Blood (Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature and True Crime) and Summer of ’66 (Literature & Fiction, Drama & Plays and Regional & Cultural).
His favorite author is Walter Moseley because he tells great stories with interesting characters and they may a point about important issues in American society.
Shelton believes that everyone has a story, so write yours.
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