It’s 1954. When a mental patient who calls himself Roy Rogers finds a body in the hospital record room, his investigation leads him to the murder of Marcia Weinhart. Twenty years earlier, authorities found her mutilated corpse lying on the altar of St. Adrian's Catholic Church in Sunrise, Missouri.
Roy, his friend Harry, and Harry’s beloved dog, Bullet, move through the buildings and grounds of the Sunrise Mental Hospital, a thousand-acre facility with more than two thousand patients and eight hundred employees. They go from the record room to the hospital’s Catholic chapel, from the blacksmith shop to the hospital cemetery, looking for victims of the terrible abuse behind the Weinhart murder.
In the process, Roy comes to better understand the strength and moral stature of his hero, the real Roy Rogers. He is able to overcome the terror of his past, choosing to forgo violence and work within the law.
Joe Barone’s debut makes for an intriguing mystery while also elevating old-time heroes and their values.
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Joe Barone is retired after twenty-five years as an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is a graduate of Missouri University with a Masters of Divinity from the Phillips Graduate Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma. He is presently a member of the Columbia, Missouri, Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship. Joe was raised on the grounds of the Nevada, Missouri, State Hospital #3. His father was a medical doctor who was the longtime superintendent of the institution. Joe lives with his wife in Columbia, Missouri.