The Jasper Creed

Fiction - Southern
452 Pages
Reviewed on 10/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

I’m going to pay The Jasper Creed by William Jarvis one of the highest compliments I can for this type of novel. Throughout the book the voice and tone sounded exactly like the late great Pat Conroy. So if you are a Pat Conroy fan, and I know many of you are, you can simply stop reading this review and buy The Jasper Creed. You won’t regret it. It is a well written novel and it rings true with everything I know about the South and the people from small towns who make up most of her population. I know what I am talking about because I am from Alabama, and these people are my friends, family, and loved ones. Jarvis tells their story like a pro and though I haven’t read anything else by him, I’m going to make a prediction. If he keeps writing, he will become the next great southern writer. And that is a long proud line.

Like many books about the South, The Jasper Creed centers around a sport. In my home town, and most small towns in Alabama, that sport would have been football. But in Jasper, Tennessee, it is baseball. William Jarvis tells this tale with all the authority of someone who knows a lot about southern towns and southern secrets. The plot rings true. The setting is spot on. The characters are portrayed so well that I thought some of them seemed exactly like people I know. This is a story of vanished youth and secrets so powerful that to unleash them would rock a town to its foundations. But most of all, this is good writing. Writing you get once in a generation, if you are lucky.

K.C. Finn

The Jasper Creed is a work of dramatic fiction by author William Jarvis. Set in the southern states in 1974, this realistic tale recounts the life story and major dramas of Casey Evans, a young man tipped for greatness. As the town’s golden boy, this young baseball star’s life begins to collapse when a tragic injury prevents him from ever playing again. Keen to usurp his position, team-mate and local rich kid Parker Sinclair wants everything in Casey’s life, including his girlfriend, Jenna Leigh. But when Jenna Leigh turns Parker down, yet more tragedy ensues, and a small Tennessee town suddenly becomes a hotbed of drama, corruption and death as everything spirals out of control.

William Jarvis really knows how to craft a plot. The action of his novel is superbly exciting but also realistic enough for readers to really experience it in its full tragedy without it feeling too far-fetched. Casey is a local small town boy whom readers can root for, and when the world collapses around him it’s painful to see what tragedy will strike him next. The tale, however, is one of overcoming and fighting for justice, which ultimately results in a lot of hard work but a lot of rewards too. The supporting cast was well created, as was the scenery of Jasper itself, and the dialogue of the south shines through to give the story even more atmosphere and heart. Overall, The Jasper Creed is an excellent read to be enjoyed by all, and comes highly recommended.

Christian Sia

Casey Evans is the pride of Jasper, but an injury ends his baseball career abruptly. His girlfriend, Jenna Leigh Meyers, accepts a ride from Parker Sinclair, a teammate of Casey and the son of one of the most powerful men in the city and heir to the Sinclair fortune. But when she refuses Parker’s move on her, it leads to a chase that ends up in a thorny ditch where Parker kills her. A scapegoat is quickly found in Marcos “Pud” Diaz who stumbles upon the scene and tries to help. Casey doesn’t believe that Pud murdered his girlfriend and will do everything to clear his name — but does he have what it takes to stand up against a corrupt judge, an unscrupulous sheriff and a powerful family?

The Jasper Creed by William Jarvis is an engrossing tale of murder, stabbings-in-the-back, power abuse, and cover-ups. Set in the small town of Jasper, Tennessee, with the backdrop of the Sinclair Candy factory, the Jasper Free-Will Baptist Church, and high school baseball, readers are introduced to a cast of compelling characters. The tale has sophisticated layers of intrigue, with scheming characters, skeletons in the closets, and blackmail. Casey is a well imagined protagonist, a hero who is torn between his quest for justice and the admiration of the town.

William Jarvis creates powerful characters, invents a strong conflict and a puzzle so intriguing that readers will want to see how the pieces fit together in the end. The writing is gorgeous and confident, the narrative voice so strong it has the reader enraptured, the suspense exacting and intense. The Jasper Creed is a cunningly plotted story that is hard to put down; as engrossing as it is entertaining. You’ll genuinely love the heroes while sincerely hating the villains of the drama in the small town of Jasper.

Sefina Hawke

The Jasper Creed by William Jarvis is a southern fiction novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy scandalous mysteries, setups, drama, and suspense. In 1974, in Jasper, Tennessee, Casey Evans is something of a town hero who is expected to go on to have a glittering baseball career. But, that all changes when an injury ends Casey’s potential career before it can even begin. Casey’s life takes another turn when his girlfriend, Jenna Leigh Meyers, ends up dead and his best friend, Pud Diaz, is accused of her murder. Will Casey choose to stand by his friend or will he cave in to the community’s belief of his friend’s guilt?

The Jasper Creed by William Jarvis is a well written book that stayed true to the time period while also having a unique story line and well-developed characters. One of the aspects of this book that I really liked was that the author did not try to force baseball to be more important than the characters and the story, which gave the book a realistic feel. Casey Evans quickly became my favorite character because Casey was the type of person that I could admire for his dedication, loyalty, and his willingness to do what was right instead of what was easy. I liked the way that the author had the chapters skip between 1998 and 1974 as this gave the book the feeling of a mystery while I tried to figure out how the past and present fitted together.

Rabia Tanveer

The Jasper Creed by William Jarvis is a murder mystery and a thriller all rolled into one amazing package. While the story begins with Casey, it evolves to be so much more. There are multiple characters that all have their own stories and their truths to unveil. Everything is connected and everyone has a connection with each other. While sometimes it became frustrating, it actually added a lot to the story and made it even more interesting. There was never a point where I could guess what would happen next in the story or how it would end.

This is the story of a small town where everything and everyone is under scrutiny. Living in this small town is Casey, a young man destined for a bright future in baseball. He is talented and recruiters are keeping an eye on him to lure him away. However, when Casey receives a career ending injury at one game, this unfortunate incident starts a series of events that bring the small town of Jasper crumbling down. His girlfriend is murdered, his teammate is mistaken for the murderer and there is a web of lies binding everything together. How can someone survive when things are this bad?

The story was intense and very well written. I have no idea how the author kept track of every character, their own stories and the impact they have on the overall story. The dialogues brought something new to the story and gave the characters their own distinctive edge. The suspense was kept until the very end and had me on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen next. This is definitely one of the best thrillers I have read this year! Very entertaining!