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10 thoughts on “The Past Never Ends

  1. Lynda Lynda says:

    The Edgar Award BURNETT Jackson Sits in between BURKE James Lee and BURNS Rex in my home library BURKE won the Edgar Award twice Best Novel of the year in 1990 for Black Cherry Blues Best Novel of the year in 1998 for Cimarron Rose.BURNS won the Edgar Award in 1976 Best first novel, The Alvarez Journal.BURNETT s The Past Never Ends was submitted for consideration for the Edgar Award in 2012 Best first novel We GR readers are aware that the Edgar Awards, named after Edgar Al The Edgar Award BURNETT Jackson Sits in between BURKE James Lee and BURNS Rex in my home library BURKE won the Edgar Award twice Best Novel of the year in 1990 for Black Cherry Blues Best Novel of the year in 1998 for Cimarron Rose.BURNS won the Edgar Award in 1976 Best first novel, The Alvarez Journal.BURNETT s The Past Never Ends was submitted for consideration for the Edgar Award in 2012 Best first novel We GR readers are aware that the Edgar Awards, named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America They honor the best in mystery fiction, non fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year So I was keen to read Burnett s mystery to determine whether he belonged among this illustrious literary company.When I first saw the cover to this novel, it reminded me of the long standing American daytime soap operaLike sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives.But that is by no means a slight Days of Our Lives is one of the longest running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday since November 8, 1965 It has since been syndicated to many countries around the world As drawn as millions of followers are to the show, I too found myself mesmerized by The Past Never Ends And I have to confess, the book s lead character, Chester Morgan, could equally be as compelling in a lead role in Days of Our Lives The program has had many high profile fans In 1976, TIME magazine reported that then Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, would call a recess around the 1 p.m hour to watch Days of Our Lives I too would gladly stop everything for an hour to watch Chester Morgan at work Yes sigh I would surely do that But I digress The Past Never Ends is set in the fictional city of Vivia which is situated on two sides of the Cottonwood River The prosperous side of town was settled on land claimed in an Oklahoma land run, while on the other side of the river, the poorer side grew from a trading post after the resettlement of the Creek Nation and other tribes The Past Never Ends is a magnetising mystery legal crime noir that focuses on a case being handled by Chester Morgan Morgan is a middle aged, self employed Attorney He grew up in Southeastern Oklahoma, graduated from the University of Oklahoma Law School, and primarily represents individuals and small businesses He has two capable assistants Shawn, his receptionist office assistant, and Marylin, his legal secretary.Morgan has been troubled by the recent death of William Harrison, a 64 year old Oilman Harrison died in the local YMCA pool early one morning and Morgan was on the premises at the time of Harrison s death Harrison was a good swimmer and Morgan can t come to terms with his apparent drowning The image of Harrison s dead body floating upside down in the water haunts him Morgan very much admired Harrison, which is not surprising to us, the readers , as the two men are alike in many respects both had an ex wife somewhere, both are kind, compassionate men, and both had an aura of loneliness about themHe lived by himself and sometimes even his shadow seemed solitaryAfter another restless swim, Morgan arrives in his office one morning, ready to tackle the day s case load A rather pathetic young man, Alan Kinman, turns up at the office, demanding that he see Morgan Kinman appears distraught at the death of a childhood friend, Tanya Everly, a 24 year old dancer and sex worker, who died tragically at a motel two months prior Kinman is convinced that there sto the death than the police are letting on Morgan, at the encouragement of his legal secretary, decides to take on the case Morgan soon learns that the police are not forthcoming with information about the death, and thehe investigates, thehe realises that Kinman may be right His investigation soon takes him to a dance establishment called Vixens, where the main attraction is women taking off their clothes They collect 1 tips for their nudity Tanya, whose stage name was Star, was one of the club s most popular girls.Morgan soon learns that some of the dancers at Vixens are runaways children in women s bodies He learns too that Tanya was actually pimped by her mother, from an early age.From here The Past Never Ends deftly unravels the mystery of Tanya s death, blending her personal story with a mirror image of realityIs any life so isolated that it lives only in the past and not in the present and future, tooThe characterisation of Morgan was, in my view, superb He was undoubtedly my favourite in the book because of our shared values The man I came to know was a fierce and unwavering champion of society s most vulnerable a kind, compassionate and principled man who believed deeply in justice and tolerance creating a level playing field for all Everything about Burnett s writing felt authentic From the place setting, to the storyline and insights, a knowingness was imparted, as if they d come right out of Burnett s own experience He is, himself, a practicing lawyer and this unique vantage point has undoubtedly assisted him in creating this real view of the world I couldn t help but feel that he drew on his deepest resources to write a story with such intuitive awareness that I too was confronted by the essential traits that define me As a reader my instincts were that Burnett was telling the truth and he drew me into the world that he wanted to show me.As for the title The Past never Ends what is it s significance That s a toughy because Time has long been a major subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science The past is generally seen as being immutably fixed, and the future as undefined and nebulous As time passes, the moment that was once the present becomes part of the past and part of the future, in turn, becomes the new present In this way time is said to pass, with a distinct present moment moving forward into the future and leaving the past behind.Whatever one s views are on this, from my own personal experience, as past life regressions can solve problems I am experiencing in the present and therefore change my present, progressions can also help me to modify my present in order to have a better future Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it Don t let it haunt you So does Burnett s mystery belong among this illustrious literary company BURNETT Jackson Sits in between BURKE James Lee and BURNS Rex in my home library FULLY DESERVED IT S AS IT SHOULD BE Postscript My additional thoughts on this novel, for those who have read it, are recorded at the following blogspot


  2. Cathy DuPont Cathy DuPont says:

    UPDATED REVIEW26 March 2013When browsing through some old reviews recently, I came across this review I started reading the review and had to stop I didn t read too far into the review because it sounded so stilted, not my style at all I m muchlaid back than that Not sure why I sounded so stilted, maybe I hadn t found my voice I have no excuse but it did tell the story and was an ok review when I did read it through But I simply wasn t happy with it, that s all With that said, I d UPDATED REVIEW26 March 2013When browsing through some old reviews recently, I came across this review I started reading the review and had to stop I didn t read too far into the review because it sounded so stilted, not my style at all I m muchlaid back than that Not sure why I sounded so stilted, maybe I hadn t found my voice I have no excuse but it did tell the story and was an ok review when I did read it through But I simply wasn t happy with it, that s all With that said, I decided to re read The Past Never Ends and re write my review But instead, I m just going to add to the review here and leave it below as I wrote it last year Here Goes My Added Second ThoughtsWith the re read I found it just as enjoyable as the first time I read it But the first thing I noticed was there are fewer courtroom scenes that I may have alluded to in my review I would not consider it a courtroom drama thriller so my apology if I left that impression It s a mystery, in my opinion Personally, I love courtroom scenes which is one reason I breezed through Michael Connelly s Mickey Haller series There are a lot of courtroom scenes in those books which I just devoured, so I know a courtroom drama thriller But Chesterfield Chester Morgan, spends little time in the courtroom Some, but very little Love his given name, so I used it but he s called Chester by most and sometimes Attorney Morgan out of respect, I m sure He s well known throughout the city Set in a relatively large oil town of Vivia, Oklahoma, Chester is the quintessential seeker of truth who would rather maintain his small law office, living a solitary life helping those common folks, to the point where he barters his services when some clients simply cannot pay him Such a great, kind fellow who thinks of lawyering as a service to the public rather than a way to enrich his lot in life.Speaking of Chester Being an attorney was a matter of trust not only to your client but to yourself and to that ephemeral goddess justice In his employ are two very helpful, loyal and devoted employees, Marylin and Shawn Shawn is therisky of the two and is a real trip who never hesitates to speak her mind I like them both but Shawn, she s gutsy and bold, too Wheat Fields of Oklahoma Flickr April_girl4 Artistically SpeakingAnother thing I missed mentioning the first time around was the common artistic thread woven throughout the book with Chester s mother being a singer of note and from time to time he listens to her lovely voice on his CD player And being a loner, it can make him melancholy I just wanted to put my arms around him and tell him, it will be ok, Chester, really I promise I felt his aloneness Speaking of Chester He lived by himself and sometimes even his shadow seemed solitary Next, the dead young woman Tanya Everly, who was from across the RR tracks, literally, was also a promising singer Tanya was going where her voice took her when she died No one knows how she died murdered since the newly appointed police chief won t release the police report Looking suspicious pretty damn fast here Crossing the Railroad Tracks Can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death Flickr Wade from OklahomaLastly, Tanya s best friend, Maria, is a jewelry designer and, a big big here, a professional dancer She and Tanya worked together and supported each other in their effort to better their lives with their talent their talent other than professional dancing at which Tanya was the best at Vixen s The name of the establishment where they danced Still Musically SpeakingFurther, Chester listens to Beethoven and Verdi operas, so I bet he has a Mozart, Bach and Yo Yo Ma in his collection Chester and I havethan just a few things in common besides our musical interests and the lack of knowledge of fushion cuisine Truth be known, I m a frustrated attorney Along with geologist, archaeologist, et al Chester and I have a number of things in common, no doubt These characters are so well drawn and this is an indication of how Burnett has gone deep to describe their personal traits, who they are, for the reader Speaking of a character in the book She looked like a side by side refrigerator with both doors open This was one of my favorite quotes being so very descriptive She was one big girl, that one Speaking of Chester and me, just another commonality too young to feel old and too old to be young Definitely worth a second read Jackson Burnett is a Goodreads author who reads and posts reviews There are only a handful of authors participating as one of us both readers and reviewers I receive his blog which I find so much fun to read, his last post being about using punctuation, specifically quotation marks Writers, don t be lazy and make reading difficult for us readers I agree.Jackson s blog is here Jackson Burnett s Goodreads Blog First Review Still StandingFor a first novel, author Jackson Burnett did an exceptional job in all facets of writing a mystery And a legal mystery at that.Chester Morgan, the protagonist, is an attorney An attorney who scorned the big law offices in favor of determining his own future by opening an office staffed with his two capable assistants one of which needs reining in from time to time His ethics and desire to help the downtrodden unfortunately doesn t always pay the bills, but he sleeps well at night.That is until he saw a local businessman and philanthropist drowned in the Y pool early one morning during Chester s ritual early morning swims Knowing the gentleman was a swimmer of note, he questioned as to whether the drowning was accidental or intentional somehow To muddy the waters a little , a poor but kindly young man comes by the office asking Chester s assistance in obtaining the police file of an old girlfriend who was recently found dead under unusual circumstances It s a public record, so what s the big deal It s just a simple file from the local police department So Chester thought.Agreeing to look into obtaining the file, Chester finds obstacle after obstacle and becomesintrigued as he s told no, over and over Before he knows it the lawyer is visiting the place of employment of the dead woman who was an exotic, excuse me, a professional dancer The storyline was quite interesting and gently unfolded while keeping my attention At the same time I was trying to piece the puzzle together in my mind of any relationship between the dead swimmer and the dead dancer OK, I ve owned up to not being able to determine who dunnit but usually I can piece together the clues before the end Not here, although I did have some good guesses before the ending which was quickly wrapped Set in Oklahoma, Burnett s description of the prairie scenery and the imaginary city where the action takes place was well done in that I could see the area easily in my mind And I enjoyed the courtroom scenes but I must admit that I enjoy courtroom action anyway Burnett did a great job of explaining some of the intricacies of probate law which, not being a lawyer, I was totally unfamiliar with I enjoy legal mysteries and courtroom scenes alot.Chester was a great character with high moral standards which didn t waiver I like that he was an honorable man and an honorable lawyer true to his profession However, I m not sure of his choice in women For some reason his love interest just didn t interest me much, but that s my take She just seemed like a fake for some reason I really can t put my finger on And not liking her too much, I don t really want to spend any time thinking about why I didn t like her Oh, I remember one reason is that she can t say you , she says ya And she had a hokey ness to her that didn t appeal to me at all and I m not sophisticated either There arereasons than those but holding back due to spoilers Reasons enough for me anyway Good read though especially for a first time novelist And a Goodreads author to boot I would like to seeof Chester and watch his character grow and expand in future books


  3. Melki Melki says:

    When Attorney Chester Morgan is hired to investigate the death of a young stripper, he runs into a brick wall First, the police file is sealed Or lost Or maybe both No one will talk Not the medical examiner or the dead girl s landlady Even her mother pimp has nothing to say.It seems like this case may never be solved, but Morgan and his two plucky assistants are going to give it their all There are plenty of likable characters, loads of suspects and an honest gentleman who seeks the truth When Attorney Chester Morgan is hired to investigate the death of a young stripper, he runs into a brick wall First, the police file is sealed Or lost Or maybe both No one will talk Not the medical examiner or the dead girl s landlady Even her mother pimp has nothing to say.It seems like this case may never be solved, but Morgan and his two plucky assistants are going to give it their all There are plenty of likable characters, loads of suspects and an honest gentleman who seeks the truth This book combines taut courtroom drama with a murder investigation and turns out to be a fine and absorbing mystery


  4. Jackson Burnett Jackson Burnett says:

    From Nash Black s five star review atJackson Burdett s legal whodoneit THE PAST NEVER ENDS with Chester Morgan in the office is a fine example of the family lawyer we remember, the one we paid with sweet corn when money was tight.Chester has his problems forgetting his ex wife, but not enough to become maudlin He takes a case from Alan Kinman to obtain the death records of a stripper hooker Tanya Everly, but those records though marked closed are no where to be found Someone does not From Nash Black s five star review atJackson Burdett s legal whodoneit THE PAST NEVER ENDS with Chester Morgan in the office is a fine example of the family lawyer we remember, the one we paid with sweet corn when money was tight.Chester has his problems forgetting his ex wife, but not enough to become maudlin He takes a case from Alan Kinman to obtain the death records of a stripper hooker Tanya Everly, but those records though marked closed are no where to be found Someone does not want the circumstances of Tanya s death to become known.Chester explores forgotten streets and allies in his search for answers.Burdett s skilled pen creates a character from the law itself which keeps you reading long after it is time to turn out the light His craftmanship has the reader wondering,than once, How does he do that An excellent read for any traditional mystery fan.Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH


  5. Diana Hockley Diana Hockley says:

    This is one of the most interesting books I have read this year At first glance, Jack Burnett s novel is crime fiction, no , no less However, it soon becomes apparent that this is so much .Does the law serve itself or justice Burnett uses a seemingly unrelated sequence of events to answer this.The plot is engaging and starts with a bang Chester Morgan attorney at law, discovers the body of a wealthy philanthropist floating in the YMCA pool The man presumably died of natural causes, This is one of the most interesting books I have read this year At first glance, Jack Burnett s novel is crime fiction, no , no less However, it soon becomes apparent that this is so much .Does the law serve itself or justice Burnett uses a seemingly unrelated sequence of events to answer this.The plot is engaging and starts with a bang Chester Morgan attorney at law, discovers the body of a wealthy philanthropist floating in the YMCA pool The man presumably died of natural causes, so Chester though saddened is not perturbed, until probate is requested of the man s Will Something doesn t add up Alan Kinman, a shy and awkward 24 year old man turns up at Chester s office without an appointment, but with questions concerning the death of a friend Something is not quite right, he insists Apparently the girl died in an accident, but when Chester investigates, he discovers the horrific truth.The characters are excellent Chester Morgan is a delightful character, one of the nicest I have encountered for some time A kind, principled man, not given to wild gestures or over the top acts, he has a private grief to overcome and over the course of this story this is resolved, bringing new hope to his lonely life The story of how this happens is as unexpected as it is heart warming.I think the most extraordinary aspect of this story is the quiet confidence with which Jackson Burnett methodically unfolds his tale and how the original question is answered.I congratulate the author on this novel and will be keeping it on my Kindle


  6. Jenna Brooks Jenna Brooks says:

    Simply put, I had a great time reading this novel Jackson Burnett has a truly enviable gift He is a master storyteller As I read, I could picture him sitting on his front porch, pipe in hand, spinning yarns about the locals and their scandals and always, ending his stories with a point of wisdom The characters are colorful and authentic, and the dialogue is natural and very entertaining some of it is laugh out loud funny however, I m a huge fan of the narrative and this book conta Simply put, I had a great time reading this novel Jackson Burnett has a truly enviable gift He is a master storyteller As I read, I could picture him sitting on his front porch, pipe in hand, spinning yarns about the locals and their scandals and always, ending his stories with a point of wisdom The characters are colorful and authentic, and the dialogue is natural and very entertaining some of it is laugh out loud funny however, I m a huge fan of the narrative and this book contains some of the best I ve read I mean, you can t top descriptives such as, Judge Powers, a brittle bodied man with a soft library and office pallor, carried the faint twang of his Iowa boyhood in his voice And you have got to love a guy Morgan who feels dated too young to feel old and too old to be young You could base a Creative Writing course on just the first few paragraphs of Chapter Six Talk about setting a scene This is a five star story, told in a unique and highly entertaining voice, and I ll be looking forfrom this author


  7. Linda Linda says:

    From the opening scene to the closing sigh, the reader will be drawn into the intimate lives of charming as well as disturbing characters This story while utilizing the theme of a legal mystery reveals the challenges of living authentically with a heart for justice and truth I recommend that you read it like you would eat a box of chocolates savor each life, each voice, each image, each interaction, each emotion, each fragrance, each tone You may find yourself laughing, cringing, but mostly From the opening scene to the closing sigh, the reader will be drawn into the intimate lives of charming as well as disturbing characters This story while utilizing the theme of a legal mystery reveals the challenges of living authentically with a heart for justice and truth I recommend that you read it like you would eat a box of chocolates savor each life, each voice, each image, each interaction, each emotion, each fragrance, each tone You may find yourself laughing, cringing, but mostly hopeful that justice might have its day


  8. Suki Korp Suki Korp says:

    Wonderfully crafted novel The story is told slowly and eloquently I loved the main character, Chester, and his staff, Marylin and Shawn I could envision the people and places in each of the scenes Maria was a great addition Crooked cops and lawyers, a setting that reminds the reader of time past, but somehow current this is a seriously good book


  9. OpenBookSociety.com OpenBookSociety.com says:

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer LindsayThe main reason I like to read mystery books is to guess the ending and see if I m right A good mystery will prove you completely wrong at the end of the book The Past Never Ends will keep you guessing up until the last page Chester Morgan is an attorney in Vivia Oklahoma with a small practice that focuses on the clients After losing his wife and finding a fellow lawyer and friend dead at the local YMCA pool, he falls into a bit of a rut Until one day w Brought to you by OBS reviewer LindsayThe main reason I like to read mystery books is to guess the ending and see if I m right A good mystery will prove you completely wrong at the end of the book The Past Never Ends will keep you guessing up until the last page Chester Morgan is an attorney in Vivia Oklahoma with a small practice that focuses on the clients After losing his wife and finding a fellow lawyer and friend dead at the local YMCA pool, he falls into a bit of a rut Until one day when Alan Kinman walks into Morgan s office wanting to hire him to investigate a murder Kinman s friend, Tanya Everly, is found dead in a motel room in a seedy part of town The police have ruled it an accident, however, Kinman believes she was murdered When Morgan begins to investigate the police cover up, he is drawn into a world all its own Thehe digs for the truth the deeper he falls into the new world and soon he discovers that these two worlds have collided with deadly results.Alan Kinman s character is a mystery though the entire book We never really know his identity or anything specific about him Some readers may feel this leaves the book open ended and authors need to settle all loose ends by the last page However, I think this adds an extra mysterious element to the book I agree with Burnett s decision to leave a major character a mystery I liked how I was left wanting to knowabout him In contrast, Chester Morgan s character goes through a growth and transformation throughout the book As he investigates Tanya s murder, we see how he goes from a person going through the motions of life to a person with a passion again He becomes passionate about finding Tanya s murderer but he also begins to feel real feelings again I commend Burnett s ability to use his characters to create a strong contrast in a book already coated in mystery In my opinion, this element really took the book from an okay mystery to a well written in depth story that leaves you wanting to readabout Chester Morgan.During the course of his investigation, Morgan meets Tanya s best friend, Maria She takes him on a roller skating adventure that instantly became my favorite part of the book It reminded me of roller skating in high school and had me laughing through the entire scene The only difference is that I never claimed to be good at roller skating like Morgan I like how Burnett was able to incorporate some humor into a serious story.Even the best books have a storyline I don t like or a character I don t care for in there somewhere Surprisingly, I just couldn t find anything I didn t like about this book I thought the characters were unique and entertaining and the storyline kept me guessing I really felt The Past Never Ends deserves five stars because of the creative characters Burnett created This was a fast paced read that pulls together into a surprising ending This book will appeal to mystery lovers but also to readers who enjoy an emotional journey as well I really recommend you give this book a read It s a good mystery that develops quickly and ends with a surprising twist.http openbooksociety.com article th


  10. Julie Saeger Nierenberg Julie Saeger Nierenberg says:

    I read this riveting book in one night overnight because I couldn t stop, and that is not my habit I love my sleep Jackson Burnett has succeeded in capturing the smells, sights, sounds, dialogue and feelings of a great story I felt as though I was living the mystery with each detail and character portrayal that emerged He does an excellent job of presenting the many shades of grey within the plot, and with each new twist and turn, I was compelled to read on with rapt interest How much bett I read this riveting book in one night overnight because I couldn t stop, and that is not my habit I love my sleep Jackson Burnett has succeeded in capturing the smells, sights, sounds, dialogue and feelings of a great story I felt as though I was living the mystery with each detail and character portrayal that emerged He does an excellent job of presenting the many shades of grey within the plot, and with each new twist and turn, I was compelled to read on with rapt interest How much better can a mystery get than that I highly recommend this book to lawyers, friends and family of lawyers and to anyone with an interest in Oklahoma It s a perfect book to take on a vacation or to create a reading vacation while staying right where you may be I look forward to Jackson s next one so get busy on that, Jackson I m a fan


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The Past Never Ends ➺ The Past Never Ends Download ➽ Author Jackson Burnett – Thomashillier.co.uk a fast paced read that pulls together into a surprising ending the star review from Open Book Society A simple task, Attorney Chester Morgan thinks Obtain a copy of the incident report for a young ma a fast paced read that pulls together into a surprising ending thestar review from Open Book Society A simple task, Attorney Chester The Past PDF/EPUB or Morgan thinks Obtain a copy of the incident report for a young man whose only friend has died in an unexplained accidental death Except The police file regarding the demise of sex worker Tanya Everly has been sealed by order of the chief of police, and no one will talk Warned to drop the matter, Attorney Morgan knows that if he doesn t speak for the dead young woman, no one will Haunted by his discovery of the body of a prominent local oilman, Morgan pursues a disturbing quest for justice that takes him into the dark shadows of the sex for sale business, into the marble courtrooms of Oklahoma, and into the aching loneliness of his own soul Attorney Chester Morgan may speak for Tanya Everly, but will anyone listen From the Currentland review Jackson Burnett is a vivid wordsmith, telling his story with genius strokes of color and depth His language is both fluid and elegantly descriptive Set in the American Southwest in the days before, The Past Never Ends is both a complex murder mystery and a meditation on the self perpetuating nature of injustice and the ethereal nature of justice itself.