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Choose to be a Victor Instead of a Victim

Jim Riley Author Interview

Jim Riley Author Interview

Murder on Spirit Island follows Niki as she attempts to solve the disappearance of a wealthy businessman but finds herself caught in a larger conspiracy. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

My brother is a contractor with the state of Louisiana. At one time, it was one of the most corrupt in the nation. It has improved, but still has a few dishonest workers. Conspiracies to rig bids are not uncommon.

Niki Dupre is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Niki’s driving force is to choose victory over being a victim. I wrote Murder on Spirit Island (plus 21 other full-length manuscripts and 26 short stories in the same series) while incarcerated. I want to inspire others to make the best of difficult times. Whether it is a family situation, finances, health or a myriad of other obstacles, we can all choose to be a victor instead of a victim.

I enjoyed the twists and turns in this novel. Were these planned beforehand or did they develop organically while writing?

I’m a pantser. I plan nothing when writing a novel. I have no plot, no defined characters and no great climax in mind. I let the characters and the circumstances define the plot as they come on the scene. Most of the time, I’m surprised where they take the story.

When will this book be available for readers?

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Murder On Spirit Island

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Murder on Spirit Island by Jim Riley is a thrilling murder mystery novel set in Louisiana, following Niki Dupre as she attempts to solve the disappearance of a wealthy businessman, Henry Welker. Gunmen, alligators, and a bigger conspiracy is afoot, Niki uses every bit of her impressive skill and experience to get to the bottom of the situation, all without ending up at the bottom of the Mississippi River. With all of the danger surrounding her, she still makes time for John, a high school flame from many years ago, who gives her the Welker case to start her perilous journey.

Murder on Spirit Island is a very well constructed story, as it kept me guessing at every turn. The chapters are short, and many of them enticed me to keep going. The characters were colorful and easily recognizable, although there was a bit of confusion when initially learning of the group of men that often met on Spirit Island. Other than that, each one has their own personality and style, and each one could be the murderer on the loose.

Niki’s character is one that the reader will want to succeed. She is trying to prove herself in an industry where men typically rule the roost, but she doesn’t let it get in her way. The reader will move through the story with baited breath to see the decisions she makes and how she might manage to escape the next source of danger, no matter who it is. She’ll even flirt with a police officer, if she has to.

The story even has some good comedic aspects. Mr. Riley is certainly a quick-witted individual, and he does well to bring in some lighter points. An early example involves some yoga stretches and an unexpected guest entering Niki’s apartment to an… interesting view.

With these fun moments mixed in, this is a mystery adventure that manages to be entertaining in every aspect. With twists and mis-directions sprinkled throughout, the reader will be itching to learn the truth behind each murder.

Pages: 371

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