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We Shared a Destiny

Mike Murphey
Mike Murphey Author Interview

Section Roads follows three friends who go back to their home town after forty years and are forced to confront a bloody secret. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Section Roads has many biographical elements that guided its evolution. A few weeks after graduating from high school, I left home to attend summer session at New Mexico State University, leaving my high school girlfriend behind. Despite our separation, I felt we shared a destiny so we would eventually be together. We didn’t, we weren’t and are both probably better off for it. We remain friends, and I had her blessing to tell this story. Anyway, during that lonely summer, I read a coming-of-age book by New Mexico author Richard Bradford called Red Sky at Morning. I decided then that if I could ever write a book, I’d write one like that.

I enjoyed the development of each character and their evolution into adulthood. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

My protagonists aren’t tough guys. They are more likely to be the guys getting beaten up by tough guys. People who must cope with the world by overcoming fear and using their wits are far more interesting than people who get by on physical superiority. That’s where Cullen comes from. Buddy, of course, is a tough guy. But he’s also has a curios intellectuality that leads him to reject the tough guy culture. I grew up among strong women and share my life with a strong woman, so my female protagonists, like Shelby and Lori, are strong women.

The mystery at the heart of this story was riveting. Did you plan it before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

I don’t know how my books are going to end when I start writing. Of course, I had a vague idea of how the mystery would play out. But the specifics emerged as I got to know the characters.

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

The second book in my Physics, Lust and Greed series about time travel—Wasting Time–came out October 1. The third book—Killing Time—is waiting in the wings. My first non-fiction book, We Never Knew Just What it Was… the Story of the Chad Mitchell Trio is also awaiting publication. It focuses on the 60’s era of folk music.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

When attorney Cullen Molloy attends his fortieth high school reunion, he doesn’t expect to be defending childhood friends against charges of murder…

In a small town on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, life and culture are shaped by the farm roads defining the 640-acre sections of land homesteaders claimed at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Cullen and Shelby Blaine explore first love along these section roads during the 1960’s, forging a life-long emotional bond.

As junior high school band nerds, Cullen and Shelby fall under the protection of football player and loner, Buddy Boyd. During their sophomore year of high school, Buddy is charged with killing a classmate and is confined to a youth correctional facility. When he returns to town facing the prospect of imprisonment as an adult, Cullen becomes Buddy’s protector.

The unsolved case haunts the three friends into adulthood, and it isn’t until their fortieth reunion, that they’re forced to revisit that horrible night. When a new killing takes place, Cullen, Shelby and Buddy find themselves reliving the nightmare.

Murder is an easy thing to hide along old country section roads.

Section Roads

Section Roads by [Mike Murphey]

Section Roads is a captivating mystery novel by Mike Murphey that follows a group of friends getting together at their small New Mexico hometown for their high school reunion after more than forty years. As freshmen band geeks, Cullen Molloy and Shelby Blaine meet in the small town of Arthur, New Mexico during the 1960’s. As they experience their first love, they also form a friendly relationship with Buddy, a misunderstood football player. Little do they know, this friendship will be forever bonded by a dark secret. When they reach sophomore year, Buddy is charged with the murder of a girl named Chrissy Hammond, though later absolved of the charge. The crime causes the three friends to leave Arthur in hopes of starting their lives over elsewhere, that is until forty years later they return to their hometown and are forced to face the past as a new killing takes place.

Mike Murphey has an extraordinary way of intertwining past and present events smoothly to form a single story. One that does not cease to surprise at every turn. The main character, Cullen Molloy, is a semi-retired attorney with a newfound confidence he never displayed during high school. He considers himself a protector of his friends, especially Buddy, who he feels has carried a terrible weight on his shoulders for too long. Shelby is the perfect example of the shy but pretty girl who peaks after high school and develops an outgoing, slightly flirtatious personality and lives by herself after divorcing twice. Her connection to Cullen is deep, yet they never seem to be at the same place at the same time. As for Buddy, he is a loner man as he was a loner teenager. Haunted by the events he lived through high school and plagued by the guilt of the death of his fellow classmate. He finds himself in trouble when he returns home forty years after high school. The way the author creates a story that spans over four decades, the relatable characters and setting, and the exciting course of events rich with drama, murder, romance, and suspense, makes for no less than a five-star review. It reminds of the same character and plot buildup effortlessly accomplished in Stephen King novels. I enjoyed Section Roads thoroughly and highly recommend it to any mystery fan out there.

Pages: 361 | ASIN: B07RSLSFKS

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