Author uses Jasonville area as setting for his new book

Friday, September 7, 2007

"Welcome to Jasonville, Indiana -- a town of one zip code, one high school, one cop car and one terrifying autumn night."

That's the introduction to the summary of Jeffrey Leever's recent book "Dark Friday," a novel that takes readers on a suspenseful journey of murder and intrigue -- and it all takes place in and around Jasonville.

In explaining the novel, Leever says the novel is about a journalist who travels to a small Indiana town to investigate a series of murders and discovers a conspiracy involving local teens.

Although the story is set mainly in Jasonville, there are key scenes in Linton and Lebanon Cemetery; plus, there are several references made to other area localities.

Leever who lives near Kansas City, Mo., says he is "bias" toward settings in the Midwest. For quite some time before he began the novel, he had a basic plot idea about a group of small town teens who conspire to carry out some crimes.

Then he said he heard of a quote from Paul Harvey who supposedly said, "If you want to get away with murder, go to Greene County, Indiana."

That is when he began researching and discovered the name of a town in Greene County called Jasonville.

Leever added, "Some of the characters in my story have an unhealthy fixation on horror movies, specifically the villain of the Friday the 13th movies, Jason."

A couple of years ago, Leever packed his camcorder, camera, and voice recorder and headed for Jasonville.

"I interviewed people and checked out the local geography," Leever said. "As a novelist who admittedly makes stuff up, I was taken in by the forested areas, tall cornfields, and lakes -- all right within miles of each other. I also visited Linton, Terre Haute, and a few other places."

Of course, Leever says "scary" and "interesting" are in the eye of the beholder, and some people in the area might think it strange to set the location of a novel in Jasonville.

However, he goes on to say that the book is just meant to be a suspense fiction, and hopefully one side effect of reading the book will make readers curious about the area.

"The Greene County people I've talked to have all maintained a pretty good sense of humor about it," Leever added.

"Dark Friday," a 266 page trade paperback, is available online, at bookstores and at Wal-Mart.

Leever said he discovered his writing skills while a junior in high school and went on to major in English at the University of Nebraska. He has co-authored two nonfiction books and one other novel called "Even in Darkness."

During September and October, Leever will be busy signing his new novel at book stores in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Alaska.

View 8 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • well, if he is going to write about Greene County, I think he should at least come here for his book signing. Don't you? *smiling*

    -- Posted by lacydee on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 8:50 AM
  • Jasonville should capitalize on this! Maybe have the author come to Jasonville around Halloween, have a book signing, something scary but fun as well, work up a deal for advertising with the Terre Haute TV stations and local papers --- possibilities for promotion here!

    -- Posted by Indiana Lady on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 9:28 AM
  • If Jasonville doesn't grab ahold of this oportunity and run with it they will be missing out BIG TIME! You can't buy this kind of exposure for a town...and Jasonville could use the exposure!!

    -- Posted by Ethermuse on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 3:46 PM
  • I'm coming. Just a question of when.

    Late October, possibly.

    Enjoyed reading the comments!

    Jeff (a.k.a. "the author")

    -- Posted by JeffreyLeever on Sun, Sep 9, 2007, at 3:40 PM
  • There is only one problem, Paul Harvey did not make that comment about Greene County. It was Gibson County he was speaking of with a murder incident that took place there in the early 80's

    -- Posted by bkennedy on Mon, Sep 10, 2007, at 8:39 PM
  • Actually, I never said I knew for sure whether Paul Harvey actually made that comment about Greene County. Only that I came across it and it sparked some curiosity about the area.

    When you do a little digging, you discover that there are many counties/towns/areas that Paul Harvey supposedly made a similar comment about.

    Regardless, my book is, of course, fiction.


    -- Posted by JeffreyLeever on Tue, Sep 11, 2007, at 1:37 PM
  • If Jeff would have taken a count on the murders that have occured in Linton it would have scared the bejeezbers out of him, and would have been a larger book.

    -- Posted by juliet12749 on Tue, Sep 11, 2007, at 6:06 PM
  • When all is said and done, here is what my book actually glorifies:

    1. A small town police chief who believes the truth is more important than calls for swift justice.

    2. A prison chaplain who keeps coming back to share the truth with a condemned teen, even after being cursed at and shouted at.

    3. A female police deputy who risks her own safely to prevent vigilante justice from happening on her watch.

    4. A young kid -- who nearly everyone is ready to write off as a juvenile delinquent -- who helps bring a killer to justice.

    5. A teen who has to choose whether the truth matters more than his closest friendships.

    Admittedly, as the author, I might have some bias. So here are a few words from third-party people who have actually read and reviewed my book:

    "…in Dark Friday, Jeffrey Leever went a lot deeper, giving the characters real emotions and heart….The characters are regular people, which to me, makes them far more interesting than the Hollywood types." - Maggie Grinnell, Roses & Thorns

    "Leever hatches an interesting concept in his debut mystery…he chooses to direct readers' attentions to the effects of this heinous crime on the town and specifically the teenagers directly associated with, but not necessarily responsible for, the murders." - Becky Lejeune, reviewer, 09/07

    People can decide for themselves, but hopefully the decision is based on some actual knowledge of the content and message of the book.

    Sometimes a short newspaper article and quick glance at a cover doesn't tell the whole story.


    -- Posted by JeffreyLeever on Sun, Sep 16, 2007, at 10:48 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: