A Reader Writes

Tonight I received a very poignant email from Penny Alfonso, a friend, a follower of this blog and a reader of my books.  With her permission, I’m publishing her letter here in its entirety:

Today I attended a very sad funeral of a family member.  The lady was 86 years old, mother of 9, grandmother of 19 and great-grandmother of 8.  She had been failing for a while, so her death was not unexpected, but the grieving was profound.  It was a Catholic service.   As I saw and participated in all of the love, sorrow, sharing of experiences, and general coming together of all who attended, and as the priest talked of Jesus’ love, I was overwhelmingly aware of the vast difference between a faith of love and grace, and the screamings and declarations of hatred that are often seen in videos taken inside Mosques, as the practitioners of that so-called “faith” exhort the attendees to murder, slaughter, torture, and perpetuate hatred in every aspect of life.  I was not raised with much religious teaching or observance, so I am not at all qualified to speak on behalf of any religion.  But it really dawned on me that you don’t have to be religious to be able to see and understand the difference — that one is truly a religious faith, and the other is a cult of hatred.

I don’t think my random thoughts are particularly prescient or brilliant.  I just wonder that no one ever seems to talk about the obvious differences.

About John L. Work

John Lloyd Work has taken the detective thriller genre and woven an occasional political thread throughout his books, morphing what was once considered an arena reserved for pure fiction into believable, terrifying, futuristic, true-to-life “faction”. He traveled the uniformed patrolman’s path, answering brutal domestic violence calls, high speed chases, homicides, suicides, armed robberies, breaking up bar fights, and the accompanying sporadic unpredictable moments of terror - which eventually come to all police officers, sometimes when least expected. He gradually absorbed the hard fact that the greatest danger a cop faces comes in the form of day-to-day encounters with emotionally disturbed, highly intoxicated people. Those experiences can wear a cop down, grinding on his own emotions and psyche. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. That police officer’s reality is a common thread throughout Work’s crime fiction books. Following his graduation from high school, Work studied music and became a professional performer, conductor and teacher. Life made a sudden, unexpected turn when, one afternoon in 1976, his cousin, who eventually became the Chief of the Ontario, California, Police Department, talked him into riding along during a patrol shift. The musician was hooked into becoming a police officer. After working for two years as a reserve officer in Southern California and in Boulder, Colorado, he joined the Longmont, Colorado Police Department. Work served there for seven years, investigating crimes as a patrolman, detective and patrol sergeant. In 1989 he joined the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office, where he soon learned that locking a criminal up inside a jail or prison does not put him out of business. As a sheriff’s detective he investigated hundreds of crimes, including eleven contract murder conspiracies which originated “inside the walls”. While serving on the Adams County North Metro Gang Task Force and as a member of the Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group (STING), Work designed a seminar on how a criminal’s mind formulates his victim selection strategy. Over a period of six years he taught that class in sheriff’s academies and colleges throughout Colorado. He saw the world of crime both inside the walls and out on the streets. His final experiences in the criminal law field were with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where for nearly two years he investigated felonies from the defense side of the Courtroom. Twenty-two years of observing human nature at its worst, combined with watching some profound changes in America’s culture and political institutions, provided plenty of material for his first three books. A self-published author, he just finished writing his tenth thriller.
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