Let’s meet Gary Corbin. Gary is a writer, actor, and playwright, and he lives in the city of Camas, which is actually still in Washington State, but a stone’s throw from Portland Oregon. If the stone thrower had a particularly strong arm, he could probably lob the rock over the 49th Parallel and have it land in America’s noisy neighbour, Canada.
Gary’s creative and journalistic work has been published in the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, and Global Envision, among others. His plays have enjoyed critical acclaim and have enjoyed several productions in regional and community theaters. He is a member of PDX Playwrights, the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, the Willamette Writers Group, 9 Bridges Writers Group, and the North Bank Writers Workshop, and participates in workshops and conferences in the Portland, Oregon area.
When he is not busy writing, Gary is a home-brewer as well as a maker of wine, mead, cider, and soft drinks. He is a member of the Oregon Brew Crew and a BJCP National Beer Judge. He loves to ski, cook, and watch his beloved Red Sox, and hopes someday to train his dogs to obey. And when that doesn’t work, he escapes to the Oregon coast with his sweetheart.
In his debut novel, Lying In Judgment, he has created both a cunning title and a positively perverse plot. Peter Robertson has left his youth behind but, having become a ‘thirty-something’, he is appalled to find out that his wife is being actively – very actively – unfaithful. He becomes obsessed with his wife’s betrayal and decides to confront her lover. The confrontation turns violent, and Robinson exacts a terrible kind of justice on the man who has broken up his marriage. Except – and it is as big an except as you could imagine – Robertson has made a stupid mistake, and battered to death a completely innocent stranger.
In a dreadful turn of fate that is worthy of Thomas Hardy, Robertson finds himself called up for jury service, and the big case in front of what was known, in less enlightened times as “Twelve Good Men and True” is the prosecution of a man for an apparently motiveless murder. And the murder victim? Yes, you’ve got it – it is the man Robertson killed because he mistook him for his wife’s lover.
Corbin plays the fascinating possibilities for all he is worth, and leads the reader a merry dance across the fields of guilt, conscience, deception and psychological trauma.
Check UK Amazon for more details of Lying In Judgment.
Corbin opts for a slightly lighter atmosphere in his second book, The Mountain Man’s Dog. I guess that’s obvious, as dogs, being such cheery souls for the most part, don’t do Noir and psychological intensity. We are still in the wilds of the North West, Clarksville Oregon, to be precise, and we are introduced to one of its more rugged citizens, the delightfully named Lehigh Carter. Mr C is far more at home working under a stand of timber than he ever is in polite company, but his innocent love for a feisty girl, Stacy McBride, has him in all sorts of bother. The dog? Well, Stacey McBride, Carter’s former fiancee, persuades him to adopt the stray, and she only has to flutter her eyelashes for him to agree.
The problems start when Stacey’s pop – an ambitious local politician – decides that the the well-meaning but unsophisticated Carter is not suitable to become a member of his extended family. After all, what would the voters think? Carter may not be the sharpest chisel in the toolbox, but he is as honest as the day is long, and the closer he gets to the world of Senator George McBride, the more the smell from the politician’s crooked dealings offends his nose, a nose more used to the clean smells of pine resin than those of corporate corruption. Carter’s honesty wins through, and you will have to buy the book to see if Carter gets his girl – or just the dog.
Check UK Amazon for more details of The Mountain Man’s Dog.