Drums Along the Jacks Fork
Soon after taking her first job as a public library director in a small town in the Missouri Ozarks, Billie Staley finds herself thrust in the middle of two upheavals----a computer rebellion and a militia movement. The first involves her struggle to deal with the dictum of the local government, acting at the behest of a large benefactor, that no computers be placed in the library in order to preserve the traditional card catalog. The second concerns the activities of the militia group and its attempts to use the library’s meeting room as a gathering place. To further complicate matters, Billie discovers the man with whom she is having a budding relationship represents an unexpected entanglement. Ultimately, the conflicts lead to a catastrophic event of mysterious origin, leaving the town in ruins and Billie playing detective, digging for an answer to how it all came to be.
Midwest Book Review
"...Very highly recommended reading, Drums Along The Jacks Fork is a polished work of considerable originality and clearly documents author Henry Hoffman as an able novelist whose readers will look eagerly forward to his next effort."
Harriet Klausner, barnesandnoble.com
"... an engaging slice of Americana as the locals skirmish over two diverse issues, that of automating the library services and welcoming the militia. The two subplots easily could have stood alone as each contains plenty to merit its own tale be told so both end up competing for top dog. Still Billie is a delightful protagonist who keeps the two themes focused so that the audience tastes small town life at a time when outsiders threaten everyone's lifestyle."
Pamela Johnson, multi-award winning Author of "Tides of Autumn"
"Intriguing & rare storytelling - Hoffman draws you in, revealing layer after layer - quirky characters, a thick mystery, and an unexpected ending make this a great read."
Henry Berry, Book Reviewer, The Small Press Book Review
Billie Staley takes the job of director of the Woodland Hills Public Library in the hope that the remoteness and apparent peacefulness of the town will help her get over the unexpected loss of both her parents. But unfamiliar with the ways of Woodland Hills, she unknowingly arouses the animosity of the Southern Missouri Free Militia. Woven seamlessly into the fabric of the town, its members are able to sabotage and when they want to, destroy what they are opposed to without being detected. Billie herself becomes the target for the Militia's evildoers without being able to clearly comprehend the threat and guard against it. The growing tension between Billie and the militia draws the reader into this well-paced, well-constructed popular novel. Hoffman perfectly balances the surface normality with the underlying atmosphere of impending danger."
"Henry Hoffman makes use of his work as a former library director, in addition to being a newspaper editor, for this fiction about a reactionary militia group intent on using the library to advance its cause in a small Ozarks Mountain town in Missouri. Hoffman is from the area of the setting of his "Drums Along the Jacks Fork". Though fiction, this work convincingly portrays types of individuals and issues often covered in the media.