THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD

Dennis Jung – author

 

Dear Readers:

 

Two strangers, a man and a woman, become acquainted over drinks in a bar, an encounter that ends in a sexual assignation. Within twenty-fours hours, one of them will be dead. So begins SIGNS OF LIFE, a tale of the cost of one’s past and the price one is willing to pay for the future. Harlan Quist, the cashiered ATF agent from my novel, JACK OF ALL TRADES, becomes involved in a search for a child who was abducted fifteen years ago. What follows is the story of a mother’s willingness to sacrifice everything to recover her bond with a child whom she no longer knows; all set against a backdrop of human trafficking and drug cartel violence. Their search leads them from Fiesta in Santa and the symbolic burning of Old Man Gloom to the shadowy underbelly of the cobble-stoned streets of the tourist mecca of San Miguel de Allende, and finally to Oaxaca during the celebration of the Day of the Dead. Look for this story to be out this spring. It will be avaialble from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in Ebook and print
My fourth novel, THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD was selected as a finalist in the 2016 New Mexico – Arizona Book Awards. It was the third installment in a trilogy featuring the character of Harper Harris.First chapters of all of my stories may be found in the Sampler section. You may also read more about my stories in my author’s notes in the BOOKS section. I appreciate any feedback and comments by email or on my blog. For Amazon users, I would also welcome a review on their site.  For my Santa Fe readers, I will have limited copies for sale available directly from me.

 

THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD – Harper Harris has returned to Sierra Leone on assignment in the midst of the Ebola epidemic. On her last night in country, she unexpectedly encounters Nessa Gallagher, an Irish woman who is later suspected of murdering two men in Harper’s hotel. In the aftermath, Harper is interrogated by Ron Sumner, the British agent set on apprehending Nessa. When Nessa vanishes, Sumner takes Harper into his confidence and shares Nessa’s dossier, a story of an IRA foot soldier turned assassin and possibly an avenging angel in a career that spans three decades and as many continents. Harper is sufficiently intrigued to accept Sumner’s offer to help him find Nessa in exchange for allowing her to write the story. Their search soon leads them to Guatemala where they confront the violent legacy of that country’s civil war that resulted in the deaths of several hundred thousand of its citizens, many by genocide.

Meanwhile, Nessa has embarked on her own mission, one of retribution in which her own tragic experiences during that bloody period are brought to the forefront.  As Sumner and Harper search for her, Sumner’s shared history with Nessa leads Harper to believe this is not a simple pursuit of a fugitive as much as a personal obsession for Sumner. What follows is a trajectory of intrigue and betrayal that entangles all of the actors in a bloody set piece with tragic consequences, and for Harper, an unforeseen opportunity to open her life to possibility. 

  

 

My first novel, STILL LIFE IN A RED DRESS, was selected as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in the Adventure/Drama category. This novel also won First Place in the Mystery/Suspense category in the 2011 Southwest Writers Workshop Annual Awards.  There was a recent nice mention of my novel on my publisher’s blog site  that I have included in my blog.  All my novels  are available in E-book and print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

I became interested in writing novels after receiving encouragement from friends who read my letters relating my travels in Asia and the Pacific. My use of visual imagery and my strong sense of place are what make my novels as much an escape to a geographical location as the mental landscape of my characters. Tapping into my background in anthropology, I weave into my stories a sense of the mythical and the universal in the human experience – the drama and the conflicts that consume us all, regardless of culture.

 

My novels appeal to readers who enjoy an escape to a world outside their experience. My characters, many of them loosely based on actual people, are often complicated and flawed, and for that reason, they don’t fit neatly into ones expectations of their motives, actions, or the outcomes of my stories. I also like to weave into my stories threads of history, a certain philosophical viewpoint, and my own personal viewpoint of the human condition. What I hope to accomplish is to tell a good story. I hope you enjoy them.
The photo above is taken at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

 

My email is djung@cybermesa.com

 

 

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