Set in a small Oklahoma town, “Crimes of Redemption” by Linda McDonald pits three adversarial characters against a system reflecting good old boy justice that is not only blind but subject to human greed, denial and self-importance. Sheriff Tommy Maynard, a flawed Vietnam veteran, is called to investigate the murder of the powerful Albert Raeder. The home of Mr. Raeder is located near the hovel of Willie Morris, an irritable and irritating reclusive elderly lady. The two have been known to butt heads often. Nevertheless they join forces to help Gayla Early, a young woman in trouble. Her life has been the typically difficult struggle that so many poverty-stricken outcasts encounter in today’s complicated world.
Author Linda McDonald is well known as an actress, director and playwright. “Crimes of Redemption,” expresses a decided flair for the dramatic in an unusual and interesting manner. This first novel reads like a classic ‘whodunit’ but it’s certainly not a question of who committed any crime. Instead this is a ‘whydunit’ in which the reader needs to figure out who the victim really is and whether or not the crime in question should be considered manslaughter, self-defense, justifiable homicide or even accidental death.
Is Gayla Early a victim or an opportunist? Is Sheriff Maynard a law enforcement officer or a man conflicted about his duty? Is Willie Morris a cranky old lady or a wise old owl? Can the three of them find places in a world so suspicious of eccentricity and shades of gray? “Crimes of Redemption” is full of adventure, suspense and drama. McDonald reflects the modern American love for the antihero and creates flawed but lovable characters as her readers chase through a book full of antagonists running in the wrong direction.
There are many moral questions raised in “Crimes of Redemption”, but these moral dilemmas are left for the reader to analyze and judge. McDonald raises questions about the system, and whether or not justice is too rigid as well as blind. “Crimes of Redemption” is a great opportunity for readers to reaffirm their own philosophies with a very enjoyable read. Questions are raised for the reader about our imperfect justice system, our failing educational system and our society driven by greed, self-interest, short term Band-Aids and long term denial. One questions whether justice should be blind—and does that mean that we should also be blind? McDonald’s writing is vivid, flowing and logical. Many suspense novels are hard to follow as the author attempts to trick and twist the reader’s impressions. McDonald’s style allows the reader to comfortably understand the action without sacrificing one moment of suspense or the dilemma the characters face.
Linda McDonald is a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award in the fiction category. There are seven finalists for the award and McDonald is in excellent company with the nomination. ”Crimes of Redemption” can be found in many bookstores here in Oklahoma and elsewhere and is printed by Roadrunner Press, a successful new publishing house located here in Oklahoma City. In addition to the national chains, a favorite local bookstore, Best of Books in Edmond, Oklahoma will be hosting a signing for McDonald Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 1PM to 2:30PM. Best of Books is located at 1313 E. Danforth in Edmond. Following that there is another book signing for McDonald at Full Circle Book Store in 50 Penn Place on March 28. This will take place from 6:30PM to 8PM Thursday evening. For further information about these book signings or any questions regarding other fine books feel free to call Best of Books at 405-340-9202 or Full Circle at 405-842-2900. March is frequently ushered in with bluster and rain, so, hoping for a rainy weekend, come browse the great selection at Best of Books on Saturday, the second day of March or Full Circle at the end of the month and meet an exceptional new novelist from our neck of the woods–Linda McDonald.
I have been exceptionally fortunate in the opportunities to develop this blog: Oklahoma Arts: Scene & Hurd. Through this avenue, I have endeavored to give my readers the information they need to understand the value of the art that I criticize. My purpose is never to be kind but to be accurate. My ideal is that the public attend and appreciate the events that I review so that they may decide for themselves. I have been fortunate in that I have had assistance in this monumental task. There is so much talent in Oklahoma that it is virtually impossible to cover all the choices Oklahomans have. I would like to thank those who have assisted me in the past, present and (hopefully) future. Victoria Stahl has written for Oklahoma Arts: Scene & Hurd and it is hoped that she will have time to contribute again. Keely Womack has been invaluable in covering many productions particularly for Reduxion theatre and I appreciate her contributions mightily. Thanks also to Kim Mahoney for assisting with the Pollard and Doug Carlton whose work we expect to see in the future. There are several other people I am currently cultivating whose work will be included.
One of the most valuable contributors is Anna Holloway. She is the author of the article on dramaturgy which gives us a much greater understanding of what a dramaturgist does and how valuable the position is for a production. Anna has consented to accept the post of blog editor. That means more writers can contribute with the knowledge that their work will be proofed by an expert which is very comforting and helpful to all of us as no writer can easily examine their articles for mistakes. Anna has made many excellent contributions to Oklahoma Arts: Scene & Hurd and her work is appreciated by all readers. Thank you.
Anyone who would like to contribute an article, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and include a phone number so that I can have a dialogue with you. I welcome contributions from this great community of artists that graces central Oklahoma. Thank you.
I would like to thank the new contributing authors that are now writing for me. In addition to Keely Womack many writers are going to contribute stories on upcoming theatrical extravaganzas! Don’t forget to sign your name and we would all appreciate the comments of our readers. A little applause, please — these actors, directors and crew do a great job and the writers who help me are doing a great job letting us know. Thank you.
Oklahoma Arts: Scene & Hurd
Capt Norm’s Dockside Bar in Bricktown really rocking with Stereodeck. Stereodeck is an absolutely awesome 90′s band–a decade that has a lot of fans but is often overlooked. Stereodeck fills that niche with excessive talent exploding all over the streets of Bricktown. Capt Norm’s posts a sign that says ‘drink, smoke, relax’ and since it is outside the cigarette and cigar smoke is blown away just like the music blows patrons away! The seating is awesome with wonderful shaded swings instead of regular booths and a long bar by the soothing waterway. Capt Norm’s has a great selection of brews and shots, friendly bartenders and an awesome wait staff. And Saturday night proves they have a great ear for entertainment delivering what patrons want — Stereodeck!!! Check out Stereodeck on fb as well as Capt. Norm’s Dockside Bar at www.captnormsdocksidebar.com. for a great patio cigar bar and waterhole experience. Either way you’ll know the next time Stereodeck is playing as well as the other great acts performing for patrons. Norm’s — Stereodeck — Party — oh yeah!!!