Longtime Rehoboth Beach Writers' Guild member Jim Van Loozen has just joined the ever-growing list of RBWG members who are publishing first novels. In “A Ghost of a Chance: The Haunting of Detective Tory Alston,” published by i-Universe, readers join Detective Ransom Stone as he embarks on an examination into not only his own murder, but the investigation that cost him his life. He teams with a sassy, spitfire detective named Tory Alston.
Van Loozen began his career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Houston and has since won numerous awards for his writing. He confesses that although “A Ghost of a Chance" was about 12 years in the making, he initially wrote the first draft in an intense three-week period following his retirement from the U.S. Postal Service, waking at 3 a.m. and working feverishly for three to four hours.
As happens with so many first novels, however, life got in the way, and “A Ghost of a Chance” languished for nearly 10 years while Van Loozen went on to other projects. The book was only revived recently, when Van Loozen found that first draft, began reading and once again became hooked on the story, which centers on a detective who, while looking into the disappearance of a congressional intern, is killed.
Now, dead and stuck on Earth as a ghost, he finds that he is capable of interacting with the world around him and decides to assist Alston in her quest to find his murderer. As the two sift their way through the tangled mesh of lies and underhanded dealings, they find they are caught up in something far greater than a simple murder case.
The story, says Van Loozen, who is currently under contract with i-Universe to publish three more novels, harkens back to the days of solid noir fiction. RBWG member Tom Hoyer, who admits to being something of a murder mystery buff, says in his recent review of the book on Amazon, ”Van Loozen’s prose makes you remember how charmingly offbeat Philip Marlow was on the pages where he wasn't in the throes of mortal combat. I confess to having gone from wondering, ‘How is this going to work out’ when I opened it to being pleasantly surprised six hours later by the short meditation on good, evil and eternity that wraps it up.”
“A Ghost of a Chance” is currently available at i-Universe, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information about Jim Van Loozen or to read an excerpt of his book, go to www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com.