Reading and Book Signing at New Dominion Bookshop
April 7 at 5:30 PM
Michael Hemenway will discuss
by Michael Hemenway
Ryder is the story of a relationship between 12 year-old Will and a stranger who unexpectedly arrives on an old “Indian” motorcycle. The novel begins when the mysterious Ryder arrives. He stays on to work for Steve Patterson, Will’s father who owns a local art gallery and sits on the Jackson Hole town council. When he is confronted by the accusations of a man who wants to bring him down, the cold realities of the criminal justice system set in.
The real villain in the story is not the dishonest developer who tries to force Will’s father off the town council, but the corrupt prosecutor who, like a hired gun, is willing to “do what it takes” to repay a debt owed to the developer.
The story moves towards a trial. Will’s father rejects a plea bargain and gambles everything on his perception of justice. Unfortunately things go badly and he is trapped by the testimony of an expert witness, with no way to disprove the charges against him. It is Will who must use lessons learned from Ryder to help his father by convincing Fred, an old Native American, to reveal his own secrets.
Background from the author
“I would say that the idea behind Ryder originated about four decades ago during a seventh grade American history class while I was gazing out the window and day-dreaming of riding a big ol’ motorcycle cross-country. Many years later, during a family road trip from Virginia to Montana, I found myself thinking about combining the beautiful western landscape with my courtroom experience and the common perception of the trial lawyer as a ‘hired gun.’ With this in mind, the plot developed and resulted in this story. It seems to me that although we are all interested in ‘justice,’ we are even more interested in a fair fight. And, perhaps most of all, friendships.”
Michael Hemenway lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and children, and works as a trial attorney.