The town of jasper

The Town of Jasper

by James Gianetti

Deadly foes and unexpected allies. A thrilling race against the clock.

Jack Sutherland, a disgraced detective battling his own addictions, must trudge through the quarantined town of Jasper. After “The Incident” leaving half of Jasper’s population unconscious, Richard Morrisey rose to power. Morrisey, a grieving man desperate for justice, keeps the town afloat by forging a tentative alliance with the mysterious and violent Filmore Whites. Meanwhile, a deadlier enemy lurks, known only as The Redeemers. This cult has its own dark ideas for Jasper’s salvation.

Together, Sutherland and Morrisey battle impossible odds to save what little is left of Jasper.
The Town of Jasper is a powerful thriller that features a detective struggling with his own addictions who is tasked with facing a small town that has been quarantined from the outside world when half its population succumbs to a deadly illness.

While the book initially sounds like either an investigative story or a survivalist saga, the pleasure of The Town of Jasper lies in the fact that it's both - and neither. The American beliefs and values represented in this small town are transformed by 'The Incident', which leaves survivors trapped in a deadly scenario in which faith, order, and ideologies are challenged by evil, chaos, and addiction.

Special interests rise from the ashes of anarchy to place Jack Sutherland at odds with his new world as well as the old one, leading him to confront his strengths, failures, and a changing world as an idyllic small town and its family values fall prey to disease and destruction.

At the other end of the spectrum is the newly-emerged town leader Richard Morrissey, who carves order from chaos and must form some questionable alliances in order to do so. Sutherland has become "reckless and dangerous" since the accident. Morrissey has become clever and ruthless. Any alliance between the two would have been impossible under normal conditions. Now, it may be a key to the survival of everything.

As readers pursue The Town of Jasper, they will notice that the book crosses several genres without falling into the trap of formula writing. The town's contamination and isolation reflects shades of apocalyptic science fiction. The detective's struggles with his personal failures and much-changed circumstances both before and after the vast changes that sweep his world incorporate investigative techniques that focus on powerful psychological processes, yet stop short of the kind of structure that would lead to deeming the story a detective piece. And, the evolving social and political struggles and alliances between the survivors compete with the best of survivalist sagas.

Suffice it to say that 'thriller' perhaps best defines the progress, action, and attraction of a novel which should neatly appeal across the board to sci-fi, medical mystery, thriller, and survival readers alike, adding a healthy dose of intrigue to thought-provoking philosophical, ethical, and moral challenges.

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review