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Dr. William Baker is a professor of American literature at Samuels University in Osgood, South Carolina, the small upstate community where he grew up. After more than twenty years of quiet living, almost everyone has forgotten how dangerous he was as a teen. His older brother Jimmy knows the rigid, reliable persona is just a front, that Billy is really "half bloodhound and half Rottweiler." Jimmy's history of incarceration has led William to describe him as "a B&E conviction waiting to happen." Their late father, Ian, spent twenty years in the army before a second career as a locksmith. When Ian's Vietnam-era service pistol turns up in a local pawnshop, Jimmy asks for William's help in finding out how it got there. William had accepted the official explanation that their father died in a one-car accident, but Jimmy is convinced Ian was murdered. The sight of the gun in the shop's display case stirs something inside William that he can't name; he isn't ready to believe Ian was murdered, but he knows something is wrong. He refuses to involve the police, determined to exact his own justice from whoever stole the gun.
About the Author
Israel Allen is the son of a minister and an educator. He had lived in seven different towns by the time he was seven years old and has since resided in more than a dozen cities. Home is where his stuff is. He skipped his senior year at Giles County High School for the sole purpose of getting out of Pulaski, Tennessee, while he still could and entered Union University's Religion program at the age of seventeen. He completed his BA in 1995 and continued his education at Union, earning a Master of Education in 1997. He went on to cover education and politics for the Citizen-Tribune, pursue the ministry, serve in various public relations capacities for the governor of Tennessee, earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University, taught at Piedmont Technical College and Lander University, then turned to playwriting and acting. Allen's short fiction has appeared in The Wanderlust Review and The Bastille (Paris).