Every few years, some author releases a novel with a connection to the aggregates industry. A few years ago, Sue Grafton gave us “Q is for Quarry,” a murder mystery that is part of her ongoing series featuring detective Kinsey Millhone.
Now, “In the Belly of Jonah,” recently released by Sandra Brannan, introduces us to the a new female crime solver – Liv Bergen – an amateur sleuth tracking down the murderer of a summer intern at the limestone operation she manages near Fort Collins, Colo.
In the book, Liv Bergen discovers her knack for tracking down terribly strange and sick serial killers, and through the chaos, takes her place alongside other female sleuths such as V.I. Warshawski, the protagonist of Sara Paretsky’s books.
There is a major difference, however, between authors such as Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky, and Sandra Brannan. Brannan, like her protagonist, has spent a career in the mining business. For 25 years, Brannan has worked in various jobs, including running a division in the mining company that was founded by her grandfather, father and uncle in 1944.
Brannan, who even had a press conference scheduled for the ConExpo-Con/Agg show, tells a fast-paced story focused on risk, intelligence and love, but readers of “In the Belly of Jonah” can expect to get plenty of chills and thrills as they work to solve the case with the heroine.
“Animosity toward mining is founded on misinformation, old ideologies and broad generalizations,” Brannan said. “We just need a chance to welcome people into our world to give them a better understanding for the industry, to help them see that most miners are incredibly concerned for the environment and the communities where they operate. I hope the book shows that.”
Brannan is also planning other books in her Liv Bergen mystery series with the forthcoming titles, “Lot’s Return to Sodom,” “Widow’s Might,” and “Noah’s Rainy Day.”