Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Meet My New Hero, Dax McGowan, Star of a Fantastic Series by Jack Harney, Added to Personal Favorite For 2016!

Nightmares are usually of the unexpected kind . . . but not for her. There was now a daily and hourly countdown as the time approached to face her horror. It was that day once again, as her limp arm was pulled into that room . . . that smelly, torrid room of sweat and violence. She stood by the bed with her eyes turned up and away, her mind seeking a place to be other than where she stood. She managed to block her senses as furtive hands removed her clothes, but now the physical pain would always begin even before each attack . . . its anticipation too strong to repress. Little girl’s nightmares should be of a chase in a haunted house, or a fly over by the Wicked Witch of the West . . . never this.

But some things are even worse than that wicked witch...

And the lovely young girl Grace had met him...

A Dax McGowan Mystery 


It takes a storyline that I care about along with a main character that does exactly what I'd want him to do to make a novel a favorite...Jack Harney gave it to me! This is a fantastic book, on the subject, but very hard to read...that's why it is so important to have a strong dedicated hero to do what he does best.

This was personal for Dax McGowan. Totally unexpectedly, his daughter had committed suicide. He and his wife had both noticed something different, but she was unwilling to share what was bothering her. I think that is one of the tragic things about this kind of child abuse...because the child is being taken into the very place where they are being tortured...

Father Peter Wendich was delighted that it was again a Tuesday . . . his day to teach CCD classes. It was always disappointing for him to wait from Thursday to Tuesday over the long weekend. He was especially looking forward to seeing his two favorite pupils, Grace McGowan and Tommy O’Reilly. He was impressed with their intelligence, and such beautiful children, he thought. “God had blessed them mightily.” He would do his best to help them become the natural leaders in God’s church he deemed them destined to be.

In this case by a priest...who of course has been kind and respectful most times...

“Something is definitely up with Grace, Darlene. Do you have any idea what that might be?” 
“Oh, I don’t know. She’s at that age where I hear little bits of things from other parents about boys she and her girlfriends are interested in. There’s one kid I give a ride home after their CCD classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a Tommy O’Reilly, that I’ve heard may be an ongoing crush. He’s in her sixth grade class at Lighthouse as well.,,”
He only agreed to enroll Grace in the program at the constant insistence of his mother.  “You know Dax, just because you decided to give up your religion, you shouldn’t deny your daughter the chance to learn about being a good Catholic. It’s the religion of your family going back many Irish generations, don’t you know?” was her constant admonishment.

...the fictional detective of Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle’s creation, having as a boy,
 committed to memory all his now
 famous works. In fact, it was Dax’s
boyhood game of copycatting Holmes
 that led him to discover the value
 of crossing over to a different persona.
 He used this same technique
 to solve the countless mystery stories
 he had read before the authors revealed
 the ending in their last chapters.
 His current day use of the strategy
 was a simple, consistent repeating
 of the process
Front CoverThe value of this novel was Harney taking readers into the inside investigation both by the church, the police and other officials. It has been clear for a long time that the church had covered for their priests' actions, but this time, not only were they going after the priest but how he had gotten to that particular church.

Dax, who had the same type of memory, developed as a child following Sherlock, of course, wanted to work on the case, as a Homicide case but it was quickly sent to the proper unit, something like special victims where we meet another great character Sergeant Meehan who is played by our well-known star of the TV show. 

“I’m Sergeant Meehan
 with the Special Victims
 Unit and this is my partner
 Detective Laney,” she began.
“We’re investigating the sexual
 abuse and death of Grace
 McGowan, and we want
 to meet with Father
Peter Wendich, now!”
And you may not have known that Christopher Plummer had played Holmes, although I picked him for his characters, kindness and overall personality he has always exhibited--just as I envisioned Dax as he sat talking back and forth to his partner each time he needed to clear his mind to move ahead in a case. This activity was a fun addition for the benefit of readers, especially, since it was almost like watching Dax's thoughts as he worked out his next move...

Most of us accept that all priests and Catholics are not abusers, but as we have seen in today's world, and in the novel, police are constantly frustrated because some officials in the church will relocate the offender immediately. And that's exactly what happened with Peter Wendich...

While it was unfortunate that a little boy was also facing the same torture, everybody rejoiced that he was still alive and after talking with others began to share explicitly what was happening, leading directly to the Priest.

“Tommy, whoever said you would lose your daddy was lying.”
“But God doesn’t lie, does he sir?” Tommy asked puzzled. Dax understood the boy was saying it more as a test, hoping he could explain to him how God doesn’t lie, but that he also wouldn’t lose his daddy. 
“Tommy, it’s true that God doesn’t lie, but it is true that people sometimes lie. Whoever told you you’d lose your daddy was lying.” He waited again.
“But priests don’t lie . . . right, Mr. McGowan?” Dax’s mind immediately reverted to Holmes’ train of thinking. Tommy’s last question confirmed what was becoming clear. The bottom line was their abuser was the priest. He began to fix timelines and situations in his head. He thought through his previous logical discourse with “Watson” injecting the priest as the perpetrator and it all fit perfectly. Of course, the controlled environment for the crime had to be the church, or more likely the rectory...

Until we see that those who hide pedophiles, no matter where they are, we need to keep writing and sharing the horrific damage being done to our children. Until they are treated as criminals to be charged and convicted in a public trial and held for their crimes, we can never forget what we were charged to do.

Each of us is a child of God. Thank you Jack Harney for writing an important story that takes us further into the actual events surrounding child sex abuse. Your book has been added as a personal favorite for me for 2016. I appreciate your work and encourage others as I highly recommend it to all who care about children... 


Jack HarneyI am Bronx born of Irish descent. Despite a family move to Michigan as a teenager, where I spent most of my adult life, New York City keeps calling me back. Because my ancestors arrived through Ellis Island more than a century ago, I sometimes think I possess a genetic component that craves a very specific high energy environment indigenous only to NYC. On my bucket list is to eventually end up back there...well for summers at least.

So it was no fluke that my first writing work would revolve around a famed, Bronx born, Irish N.Y.P.D. detective, Dax McGowan. In "The Millstone Prophecy" he is driven to track down and kill the pedophile priest that caused his daughter's suicide. The story involves a manhunt that takes him to the walls of Vatican City and beyond with startling results. 

I'm pleased to report that "The Millstone Prophecy" produced enough excitement and requests for more of my Dax McGowan character, I recently published his latest adventure under the title of "SIX." In addition to an unusual assignment given him by his tyrannical, Police Commissioner boss, that takes him into areas well outside his normal purview of expertise, his close friend and Special Victims Unit lieutenant, Janet Meehan, begs him to help her solve an extremely difficult serial killer case. Someone is murdering nuns who are involved in heavy caseloads of social services work in the poorest part of the Bronx. To be determined is why this killer chooses only those nuns who still wear the old fashioned veiled habits. The deductions and discoveries made by Dax never stop coming, but he nevertheless finds himself held back by one of his well-known weaknesses in solving this case.

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