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Not a Solution For Crime

Joe Clark Author Interview

Demented follows a woman who’s trying to live a normal life after being assaulted, but finds that one of the attackers is her coworker which sets in motion a series of events that spiral out of control. What inspired the setup to this crime novel?

I felt a need to address what I see as misconceptions about the value of sending people to prison and a novel is the best way I know to do that. Demented allowed me to dramatize the difference between justice for the less wealthy (Troy) and the very wealthy (Adan and Beau). I was able to talk about the fact that simply sending people to prison is not a solution for crime. I was able to raise the issue of treatment of those who have completed their sentences and sincerely want a second chance to be good citizens.

What scene in the book was the most emotionally impactful for you to write?

There are many scenes that I consider powerful and it is hard to pick one that tops all the rest. But the scene where Cindy comes to Troy’s apartment to confront him. They struggle to work past their issues but don’t quite make it.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

First was resolving Troy’s post prison life. Does he build a new future of does obsess over revenge? And why? Depicting Cindy as events unfold. She doesn’t come off as a sympathetic character. She is resilient, proud and strong. She stumbles and she doesn’t get everything right but she never stops fighting. I think she does as well as any of us would in her circumstances. Talking about prison and the justice system without being preachy. Bringing down Adan Jackson without resorting to cheap tricks.

Do you have plans to write more stories featuring Private Investigator Nickey Arnold?

I am excited about Nickey. I have a story in mind and I have done some research but it’s in line behind my current project – a Civil War Saga based on my Great Grandfather’s years in the Union army.

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It had been a gang rape. As bad as that was, it was not the turning point. Her life turned around when Cindy Smith put it behind her and started over. She got her degree and a good job. She married a great guy. Then she discovered that one of the rapists was a coworker.
When Adan Jackson begins harassing her, Cindy tries to protect her secret past by ignoring him. When he escalates, she turns to Private Investigator Nickey Arnold for help.
The PI quickly finds herself caught up in unfinished business from the past. When she confronts Adan, things spin out of control. Troy Mondale, who served time for the rape, is dragged back into the mess. Adan descends into madness. His increasingly violent behavior forces Police Sergeant Jack Edwards to step in and put an end to the nightmare.
Demented is a story of crime, punishment and getting away with it. The insanity of our legal system is exposed. The sanity of our society is brought into question by this unforgettable tale.

Demented

Cindy Smith is a young woman living in Washington, D.C., making a life of her own. Her present seems perfectly happy until her past hunts her down. Cindy has frequent suspicious encounters with Adan Jackson at her workplace. Adan Jackson is one of the three men who gang-raped her sixteen years before and got away with a misdemeanor assault charge. Cindy engages a private investigator, Nickey Arnold, to deal with her tormentor. But, as Nickey investigates further, a harrowing set of events lead all three men to make their way back into Cindy’s life, and she has to reopen chapters she never wished to read.

Demented by Joe Clark is a crime thriller novel that begins like a mystery and ends like an action movie. As stated by the author, it is genuinely a “story of crime, punishment and getting away with it.” Though being a crime drama, the author successfully maintains the characters’ compassionate nature. The story revolves around events that would help bring the plot forward and dwells in the great depths of its real-life characters.

The writing style is simple yet gripping. The story progresses with multiple episodic scenes, which could be translated well into a screenplay. The plot may feel like a train where we keep adding carriages to reach the end. Though this might be interesting for readers who love the suspense as a genre, it might be mind-boggling for others. The numerous characters and their names could be hard to keep in line with the story. However, the multifold narrative, strong roles, and quick pacing story wouldn’t let readers put down the book. The author effectively covers a realistic description of how law and justice play out in society.

Demented is a mystery thriller that will leave readers wondering if it is right to believe everything is either black or white or if it has been a grey area all along. It is a reviving tale of right or wrong and everything in between.

Pages: 412 | ASIN : B0872HRL57

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Family First And Foremost

Joe Clark Author Interview

The Walshes follows a housewife who’s given a writing assignment to go undercover to investigate the sex industry in DC and finds it’s harder to get out then in. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a young engineer back in the 70’s, I took a visiting contractor to dinner. At some point in our conversation he told me he was divorced and that he and his ex-wife had belonged to a group of swingers. The whole nine yards – porn, wife-swapping, etc. He ended by commenting that all of the couples in that group was divorced. That seemed like a good starting point for my second novel. But gentlemen’s clubs and prostitution seemed easier to deal with than a group of suburban swingers.

April Walsh is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

April is a writer, mother and a housewife in that order. She has enjoyed more success as a mother and wife partly because she has suppressed her drive to succeed as a writer. She is very intelligent, curious and extraordinarily verbal. Law and politics have always been part of her life. When she gets “to know people who are getting a raw deal … [she comes] out swinging.” When pushed, she pushes back – her husband’s high handed reaction to her first outing as a topless dancer stiffens her resolve to go through with the project.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Family first and foremost. Joe and April’s marriage is the centerpiece but her large extended family plays a part. Her little brother Bill is her ally and best friend. Her mother is her rock. The family home is safe refuge. Mothers fighting for their children: Bridget is on a reform program so she can hang onto her children because her mother delivered an ultimatum. April let’s Joe have his divorce but she fights for custody of their children. Her mother proves formidable when she steps in to support April in the court battle. The questionable application of moral and ethical guidelines in borderline situations. Sexual conduct and misconduct are targets, of course, culminating with Eve declaring that she’s going to join the atheists so she doesn’t have to worry about Christian morals. Law and order in her debate with Jack over prostitution. Racist and sexist attitudes in our society. Attitudes toward guns.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have just completed “MacGregor’s Final Battle” a fictionalized memoir. Mac gets a lot of history from my life but there are important differences. His wife has died and he has been informed that he has stage 4 brain cancer. He meets nurse Katherine Graham who decides that joining him will be a win-win situation. He needs her help and she will be able to escape her dead end life. Projected release date is early December 2022. I have started working on a Civil War Saga based on my great grandfather’s war experiences from 1861 thru June 1864. I would like to release the first volume in 2023.

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Attempted murders, intrigue, and scandal are all in a day’s work for Eve, one of DC’s most sought-after escorts. Her admirers include corporate executives, DC cops, and other smitten johns who have seen her dance at the Tahiti men’s club. None of them know her secret. She’s April Walsh, a housewife and writer who has gone deep undercover to investigate DC vice from the inside. Her first priority has always been her marriage. Her writing career has had to take a back seat. That changes when April is assigned to write a story about the sex industry. Her marching orders are to get inside and get the real story.

Exit April, and enter Eve. She’s a glamorous dancer and escort who won’t back down from a fight. Her wit and charm make her highly desired at the local men’s club. As April embraces her Eve persona, she finds more and more to like about the new life. She enjoys feeling sexy and wanted. She makes new friends: a former call girl, a wise cab driver, and a hard-nosed cop. Will she be able to find her way out, or is April destined to sacrifice herself and her family for the sake of a story? Will the good wife or the firebrand emerge victorious?

The Walshes

April is a wife, mother, and writer struggling to make ends meet. In order to provide for her family in times of economic crisis, she agrees to take on a potentially risky assignment. Tasked with writing an article that considers the case for the legalization of sex work, April’s traditional values clash with her work — yet she is determined to do what she needs to. In order to get close to the women whose stories she intends to tell, April has no alternative but to experience the lifestyle she wants to write about. But her husband, Joe, is far from approving, and April is left to grapple with the question: how far is too far?

Joe Clark’s The Walshes: The Coming of Eve is a domestic drama with adult themes. It follows April’s exploration into the world of sex workers and explicit entertainment, discovering more about herself as she does so. This novel effectively portrays a comfortable family life thrown into jeopardy, raising questions of sexual empowerment and liberation — such as whether sex work truly is the last resort for most women or whether there is sometimes power in upsetting the status quo. In addition, Clark displays how engagement with this taboo lifestyle — in terms of what is deemed acceptable — often varies between men and women; husband Joe is outraged at his wife’s attempts at erotic dancing when he himself frequented strip clubs while they were engaged.

Though social concerns are explored to some extent, the text can sometimes feel uncomfortably voyeuristic. April’s foray into stripping involves graphic descriptions which seem aimed at titillating the reader rather than a wholehearted attempt to deconstruct the expectations for married women. This adds a disconcerting element to the sense of liberation April is reported to feel. Nevertheless, Clark successfully shows how for April, what started out as a way to support her household in troubled times gradually undermines the family unit.

The Walshes: The Coming of Eve is a new take on urban fiction combined with a romantic thriller. Through examining the world of sex work, the author has brought to light the complex dance women face between being a dutiful wife and an alluring sexual being and knowing when and where each role should be presented. This novel showcases the double standards between men and women while providing a strong female protagonist who still battles social judgments despite her strengths.

Pages: 426 | ASIN : B07ZL6B556

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