T-minus six hours until the official release of The Sacrifice of Lester Yates.
This book has been in the works for about 12 years. It stemmed from an encounter I had when I was a reporter with the Columbus Dispatch in the 1980s. I was working on a series on wrongful convictions and one of the interviews took place at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. While I was there, I took a tour of the death house and saw a panel on which were three buttons – red, white and green. On execution days, three prison guards would each be assigned a button. On the warden’s signal, each would push their button, but only one sent the fatal jolt into the condemned. That, I believed, was the genesis of The Sacrifice of Lester Yates.
I started work on a novel about a prison guard who comes to believe a death-row inmate was wrongfully convicted. I created the crime for which the accused would be convicted: Four boys somewhat accidently kill another kid, then conspire to cover it up. I became very interested in the plight of those boys, so the entire direction of the book changed. That novel became Favorite Sons.
Not long afterwards, I began work on a sequel. However, I couldn’t get any traction with it, so I put it away. A few years ago, I dusted it off and tried again. This time, I moved most of the action from Columbus back to the Ohio Valley, and things fell into place.
I hope you enjoy it.
The Columbus Dispatch reviewed The Sacrifice of Lester Yates on Sunday and had nice things to say.The review said, “a well-paced, well-written thriller. . . Yocum has a gift for characterization. . . The Sacrifice of Lester Yates is a good read – full of bantering dialogue, plot twists and a sense of place.”
Here’s the link.
The Akron Beacon-Journal recently printed a review that said, The Sacrifice of Lester Yates (is) an exciting political thriller. Yocum ramps up the tension as Hutch tries to beat the clock . . . with conspiracy that goes in unexpected directions. The investigation energies him and adds to the suspense as Hutch uncovers more dirty secrets, corruption and abuse of power.
I did a fun Q&A with Bowling Green State University’s alumni blog. It’s called: 5 Questions.
Here’s the link: 5 questions with Robin Yocum ’78 (bgsu.edu)