New Action-Adventure Novel by Kerry McDonald Questions What It Means to be a Hero

Level 4 Press presents a modern retelling of Joseph Conrad’s classic.

JAMUL, Calif., Aug. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Author Kerry McDonald’s new novel, Jim Lord, is a slow-burn action-adventure exploring themes of heroism, shame, and redemption through the eyes of an armed resource officer who fails to protect his students in a moment of fear. A modern retelling of Joseph Conrad’s classic Lord Jim, McDonald continues to question what it means to be a hero, and what man is willing to sacrifice to become one.

"Many of us dream of becoming a hero," says McDonald. "But what happens if that moment comes, and the split-second decision that we make is absolutely the wrong one?" Conrad’s original novel, considered to be one of the 100 best books of the 20th Century, equates heroism to sacrifice. Can you truly be a hero if you are not willing to sacrifice everything you have?

The number of school resource officers (SROs) increased dramatically after the 1999 Columbine shooting and has continued to increase after more tragic events such as Sandy Hook and Parkland. The SRO at the Parkland shooting will possibly face trial for his inaction during the tragedy. To date, only one SRO has prevented a school shooting. McDonald taps into something uniquely visceral and contemporary by setting Jim Lord in a small-town high school with need of a resource officer.

Jim Lord always knew he wanted to be a cop. But getting stuck working as a school resource officer after a tour in Iraq isn’t what he pictured for his life. Still, he manages to find a sense of purpose, as well as love, at Portage High . . . until a moment of cowardice strips it all away.

Undone emotionally and professionally, Jim spirals into a drunken depression before a friend pulls him back from the brink. Determined to usher in a new chapter, Jim embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads him south. Along the way Jim is confronted by forces that make him face his internal demons and push him to prove he’s a man of action.

Jim Lord is both a journey inward to confront those parts of ourselves we are most terrified of, and a journey outward to find redemption by becoming the hero we so desperately want to be. 

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Alyssia Gonzalez

SOURCE Level 4 Press