By Jon Ripslinger
Genre: Young Adult
Driving home from a bonfire party, eighteen-year-old John Hawk crashes, killing his girlfriend, Riley. Bullied and tormented at school, his guilty conscience crushing him, John transfers to a school on the banks of the Mississippi River, where he attracts the eye of the principal’s daughter, Megan Jones. Though he’s reluctant, she convinces him to be her prom date. The morning after prom, Principal Jones reports Megan missing. Four days later, her body is recovered from the Mississippi River, and John becomes the prime suspect in her death, a rape and murder case.
Charley Cotton, Megan’s best friend, knows that Megan had a secret, but she doesn’t trust John because of his past. John is desperate to avoid adding to the shame he carries for Riley’s death—it’s destroying his life. With Charley’s help, he learns that others in Megan’s life have a motive to keep her quiet. But every effort they make to uncover the truth edges them closer to a desperate murderer with everything to lose.
The Weight of Guilt is about John Hawk, a high school senior who has not had a fair shake at life. After a car crash that claimed his girlfriend, Riley, John decides to attend a school off of the Mississippi River. There he meets Megan and she convinces him to attend the school dance where she goes missing the next day. Megan is found dead and John Hawk is the main suspect.
After Jon retired as a public high school English at Davenport West High school, he began a career as a young adult author. His credits include eight published YA novels, and he has signed a contract with Red Adept publishing for a ninth YA novel. Jon has been a presenter at the Pen-in-Hand workshops for the Midwest Writing Center, Davenport, IA, and for the David R. Collins Writers' Conference held yearly at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. He has also published numerous short stories in Woman's World, a leading woman's weekly magazine. Jon and his wife live in Davenport, where their six children and their families also live. When not working on his computer crafting another story, Jon enjoys collecting music from the '40s and '50s playing pool, and spending time with his family.