Yocum, a former associate sports editor for the Times Leader, will be on hand to discuss his latest novel, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates, which is set in the area between Bridgeport and Cambridge. It is a sequel to Favorite Sons, which was the 2011 USA Book News Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense.
Copies of The Sacrifice of Lester Yates and Yocum’s other novels available for purchase. Yocum continues his pattern of setting his mysteries in the Ohio Valley. A Brilliant
Death was set in his hometown of Brilliant, and A Welcome Murder was set in Steubenville, and A Perfect Shot was set in Mingo Junction. Strand Magazine called The Sacrifice of Lester Yates “A brilliant thriller by a master of neo-noir thriller. This should be on your nightstand.” The Murder in Common website said, “Propulsive reading with interesting characters, excellent pacing and pulled threads that take you smoothly along. . . . some of the most fluid and engaging writing I’ve ever read. A highly recommended read.”
In The Sacrifice of Lester Yates, Yocum resurrects protagonist Hutch Van Buren, who has been elected attorney general for the state of Ohio. As the book unfolds, Van Buren is reviewing the conviction of Lester Yates, who was sentenced to death as the notorious Egypt Valley Strangler, one of the country’s most prolific serial killers. Yates is two months from his date with the executioner when Van Buren is presented with evidence that could exonerate him. But Yates is a political pawn, and forces exist that don’t want him exonerated, regardless of the evidence. To do so could derail presidential aspirations and change the national political landscape. Yates’ execution will clear a wide political path for many influential people, including Van Buren, who must battle both the clock and a political machine of which he is a part.
“I’ve always said that the Ohio Valley is the perfect backdrop for my novels,” Yocum said. “This book proves it. I started writing this book ten years ago, but I put it away because I couldn’t get any traction. When I pulled it off the shelf a few years back and started a rewrite, I moved much of the action back to eastern Ohio. Almost immediately, things began to click.”