top of page
  • N. N. Light

N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Jack Conlan #authorspotlight #mystery #debutnovel #mustread

There were dozens of times during my career as a criminal lawyer in courtrooms across Tennessee that I have thought: “Man, that would be a great book.” Finally, I decided to write one. I’ve been a ‘writer’ my whole life in that I have always enjoyed writing things: snippets of novels, short stories, character sketches or scenes. I never let anyone read anything I wrote until about a year ago when I told a family member my shocking secret. That I had written a novel. I’ve spent my career to this point as a lawyer, as a husband and father, and as a dog lover. Now that I’ve published my first novel, I guess I am a full-fledged writer, and I am absolutely excited about it.


I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee which is a wonderful place to grow up and live. It’s a very different place now from the one that I grew up in. I’m not one of those people who hates change but I’m not above lamenting the closure of a cherished restaurant or nostalgia-framed store. As a Southerner, I find Southern culture to be tremendously complex. Race and class hang over everything in the South like the heat of a sultry August night. They are inescapable. Our history of violence and bigotry is not something you can exactly avoid, either. For someone like me though, who has always held Atticus Finch as a North star, I’ve tried to find away to recognize who we are and all we’ve done and be better about it for the world that follows us. I also write about cops which, increasingly, is a fraught topic. In my experience, cops are just like the rest of us: smart, brave, venial, petty, foolish, and better than their worst moments. The same could be said about the suspects they investigate or the defendants they arrest. Basically, putting it altogether, being from the South and writing crime fiction that is set in the South is something I take seriously and thoughtfully. It’s a huge challenge and it is one that I plan to continue to grapple with.


I have been both a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer in my career. Though I live in Nashville, my work as a lawyer has taken me all over Tennessee to both sides of our very elongated state. I work diligently in my writing to give you a sense of what its like to really be in the justice system, both good things and bad things. Courtrooms are like any other workplace, sometimes the ‘people at work’ just happen to be your opponents for that day. The criminal justice system is its own peculiar eco-system that I enjoy not just observing but being a part of. One of the reasons I wrote The Killer Chorus is to share with the reader a little of what I have seen and learned.


As I mentioned, I’m a husband and the father of several human children and several dog children. The dog children have it better than the human children and it’s not particularly close. I like to think that being a father to both people and dogs has given me a good perspective on the human condition. Humans need affection, support, boundaries, and security. So do dogs. The difference is that a dog’s loyalty is fundamental to their character, and they are faithful to it. Human loyalty shifts with our own wants, desires, and fears. As a writer, I like to notice these things and reflect them in my writing.


Like any good Southerner I have important thoughts on barbeque. Memphis has the best and that is all that I will hear on the subject. However, I do enjoy an Alabama white sauce or a Carolina mustard sauce on occasion. The correct way to prepare ribs is with a dry rub and sauce on the side. Again, I will brook no opposition on this topic. Jack Daniels whiskey is the only whiskey with the possible exception of Jameson at an Irish wake. Whenever I travel, I always seek to drink a local beer and I judge those who do not do the same. I do not eat Nashville hot chicken because I have nothing to prove about my Nashvillian-ness.


I like to think I’m a pretty decent guy who cares about the vulnerable and stands up to meanness. I care about my family, my friends, and dogs of all stripes. I enjoy a good laugh, a cold beer, and the easy warmth of a spring day. I don’t take myself too seriously, but I don’t take anyone else that seriously either. I hope we can be friends.


Sign up for newsletter:      



Follow on Bookbub: @jackconlan 



Title The Killer Chorus

Author Jack Conlan

Genre Mystery/Crime

Publisher Conlan Books, LLC


Book Blurb


In Nashville, the hits aren’t just found on the country music charts.

When a country music legend is brutally killed, Detective Jed Hatcher is tasked with solving the case. But as he delves deeper into the investigation, he must also battle his own personal demons. With pressure mounting and his career on the line, Hatcher must race against time to catch the killer before it's too late.

Set against the backdrop of Nashville, a city filled with bright lights and dark secrets, The Killer Chorus follows Hatcher's relentless pursuit of the truth. But as he gets closer to the killer, he realizes the price he may have to pay for justice. Will Hatcher be able to solve the case and save his career, or will his own secrets destroy him?

For fans of fast-paced thrillers and gritty mysteries, The Killer Chorus is a must-read.




Henrietta “Bird” Tompkins concentrated on what her last thought should be before she was murdered. The time that Loretta Lynn gave her a Grammy Award was a good thought, she grimly determined. A sufficiently happy thought that would have to do for when the final curtain descended. She was going to die tonight. The men in her house were determined to make sure of that.


She was called Bird because of old Charlie Harris. She could see him now in her mind’s eye: he was a pot-bellied grift of a man with his gray hair slicked into a razor-sharp part over his left eye and two bushy, mutton-chop sideburns shaved into fine points that seemed to cut into his cheeks. He had been the owner, proprietor and bartender of The Starlight Lounge in Jackson, Tennessee and he had been the first person to see her, just this side of seventeen, unleash her powerful voice on the public. He had watched the crowd be transported. “They flew to some other place, girl,” old Charlie had said. “You’re like a goddam bird up there.” It had certainly sounded better than Henrietta, Bird had to admit.


They were talking in the other room, the men who would murder her. She pushed it from her mind to focus on happy thoughts. The sound of a chord – full and glorious – wafting over the hushed crowd on the sweltering July night when she first played the Ryman Auditorium. Her lover’s beautiful face.


Then everything went black.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)






Author Biography


Jack Conlan is a licensed attorney who has practiced as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in courtrooms across Tennessee. He lives in Nashville with his family which includes several rescue dogs. The Killer Chorus is his debut novel.


Social Media Links


1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Apr 16

Thank you, Jack, for the wonderful author spotlight!

bottom of page