I am the author of five novels: Doing Time, No Good Deed, Criminal Justice and The Woods. You can find more information about them on this site. My fifth novel, Dirty Business will appear in July 2022.
Filled with the local colour of life in rural North Carolina between the 1950s and 1970s, Doing Time is a poignant – and at times humorous – story of multi-generational trauma and abuse, and the journey of the human spirit to healing and redemption.
No Good Deed
What would lead an ordained minister, Kyle Weston (who had survived the Vietnam War), to commit suicide four decades later by hanging himself in the church? And why would he wear a T-Shirt proclaiming Death from Above?
Sometimes the way justice is dealt out behind bars is itself criminal. So discovers Stephen Travis, the chaplain at a men’s pre-release unit in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. The year is 1979 and Jim Crow is alive and well in the state justice system. The men in the Fairborn Advancement Center have all spent double digits behind bars and are looking forward to their release. However, their release comes at a price—set by their guards. Stephen Travis finds himself caught between his duty of care toward the inmates and following procedures mandated by the system. His decision could mean his life.
Ah, retirement! And on the edge of a thriving university town, where one can find leisure, stimulating companionship, culture. New residents of Carolina Woods are encouraged by the managers, Beatrice Charon and Gretchen Beauxreves, to take long, slow walks in the woods from which the community derives its name. But these woods are something special, for at Carolina Woods, “where you live your dreams,” life is a cross between Dante’s Inferno and the Hades of Greek mythology. It is a realm of mirth, danger, sensuality, madness…and just desserts. It can also be a lot of fun! Won’t you come in?
“I’ve known Jack Lawson for forty years. To spend time with him is to watch his towering intellect, his soulful altruism and his wicked-dark sense of humor spar endlessly with each other. Sometimes it’s inspiring. Sometimes it’s challenging. And sometimes it’s just twisted fun. Welcome to his novel The Woods.”
—Jim Borgman, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and co-creator of the comic strip Zits