Author Ray C. Morris  
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THE BOOKS

The Ether Zone
The Ether Zone

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Tender Prey
Tender Prey

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Don't Make the Blackbirds Cry
Don't Make the Blackbirds Cry

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A note to readers about Tender Prey....

Tender Prey by Ray C. Morris

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The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its share of serial killers, most notably Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler, Robert Lee Yates and the Green River Killer, so placing the characters in Washington came easy. This was among my first of many novel manuscripts, tapped out with my trusty two-fingered style each night and on the weekends while working 50 hours a week at my criminal justice career, so the sights and sounds of the great city of Seattle were familiar.

The psyche of serial killers has always been something the public wants to understand and although these crimes are unsettling, they can also be a reminder that evil often disguises itself as charm. Disturbing yet fascinating, you might begin to question what could possibly motivate the bizarre acts you learn about others.

You'll want to root for Murphy. Life has thrown him a curve. But that's not difficult because he's vulnerable, tries to maintain his sanity with a dark sense of humor, and yet has the courage to seek insight into his killer's profile by delving into the mind of another incarcerated killer, John Lee West.

I hope this one keeps you guessing. I appreciate your comments. If I am unable to get back to you quickly, it's either because I'm writing another book or have gone fishing.

Regards,

Ray Morris

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Why You Should Care

Hate crimes remain a festering and horrifying problem in the United States. Although there are significant laws on the books to deter hate crimes and protect their victims, significant gaps remain. A compelling issue is how far should society go to bring justice to hate crime victims, particularly when there is a risk of causing other victims.

Crispness and laconic dialogue characterize Morris' writing style. He believes fictional storytelling around difficult issues can often increase understanding of them; he has seen the vulgarities of racial hatred through his own eyes. Through his powerful mainstream novel he prompts a deeper and renewed interest toward the sensibilities of justice and civil rights while entertaining readers with a damn good mystery!

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Don't Make the Blackbirds Cry

"In his uneasy mind it was like a lead ball, always with him. He knew the time had finally come to write an end to the story that only he knew…the truth about the three little girls' deaths."

While a fourteen-year-old living in the racially tense south, Cory Sonnet witnesses five men brutally rape and murder three teenage girls, one white and two black. He recognizes one of the culprits as the sheriff's son, but too terrified to tell, he keeps the appalling crime to himself. That secret comes back to haunt him twenty years later when he unexpectedly learns the remains of one of the men had been found in an abandoned well. Tormented by his prolonged silence, he returns to his boyhood town as a respected journalist, buys the defunct newspaper to reveal the killers' identities, and disclose the truth behind the unsolved murders.

His heroic resolve to close the cold case is not met with eager ears. Corrupt politics interfere when he discovers one of the evildoers has become the town's sheriff, and the Ku Klux Klan reacts with violent retaliation. Amid boiling racial tensions, being stalked, and jolted by a jagged romantic plot twist, Sonnet's determination to bring justice to the three girls murders becomes a personal battle simply to stay alive.

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