By Jan Ballard
MSU Extension Service
Area residents may meet Mississippi author Merle Temple and discuss his new book, “A Ghostly Shade of Pale,” at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Choctaw County Library in Ackerman.
Sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Choctaw County Library, the Yarn Spinners Book Club invites the public to read the book, and then come together to share thoughts and ideas.
Temple, a native of Tupelo, received a bachelor of public administration and a master’s of criminal justice at Ole Miss. The first captain in the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in the 1970s, he was class president of the New England Institute of Management and a graduate of the Drug Enforcement Administration Training Academy in Washington during the early days of President Nixon’s first drug wars.
Held hostage while working undercover, he later met men hired by organized crime to kill him in a standoff near Memphis, and was involved in a gun battle with drug dealers in a heroin deal gone sour. He was internal affairs investigator of a plan to corrupt the MBN.
Temple has managed to pen a fiction story based on events that happened in his own career, in familiar places such as Columbus, Tylertown and just south of Memphis. What the author himself says is different about this crime novel:
“Jim Clemente (‘Criminal Minds’ writer) calls it detailed and complex, yet beautifully sinister, immersing the reader in the feeling of absolute reality. I would say within the many threads of the story is a simplicity on the far side of that complexity, one that may be different for each reader … a story that has no profanity, no explicit scenes of intimacy … an original story that echoes what books used to be.”
The diverse elements of a Southern Gothic nightmare converge and occupy the same stage. History files on a bygone era are ripped open and rewritten in temporal games with eternal consequences at the intersection between heaven and hell, between the visible and the Invisible.
MBN Capt. Michael Parker is an unlikely player in a struggle for the soul of America. A ghostly pale embodiment of evil becomes his obsession, and his tormentor leaves a trail of bodies across the South.
As snipers ambush Michael and his agents on frozen fields of regret and the woman he loves is stalked by death, he learns that he is not alone as he has to fight for his life against enemies seen and unseen.
The book may be purchased from the publisher, www.bethelroadpublications.com, for $25.95, hardcover, or $9.99 ebook. It is also available at www.amazon.com for $20.42, hardcover, or $9.99 kindle edition.
A reception to meet the author, light snacks and book signing will follow the discussion. Please call the Choctaw County Extension Office with questions, 285-6337.