Straight River has been recognized as follows:

2019 Kindle Book Review (KBR) Awards Semifinalist, Mystery/Thriller

2020 Chanticleer Book Review CLUE Award Finalist in Suspense & Thriller Fiction.   CLUE Finalist badge

The first book in the Matt Lanier trilogy. Straight River throws professional musician Matt Lanier into the improbable roles of amateur detective and unlikely “superhero” against a powerful and deadly enemy. It’s a mystery-thriller set during the emotional and financial aftermath of the Great Recession.

Straight River Cover

After his estranged father dies in a farming accident, professional musician Matt Lanier returns to his hometown of Straight River, Minnesota. While he’s settling his father’s estate, an old family friend and neighbor asks Matt for help. Her husband’s recent death was ruled a suicide. She insists it wasn’t. If she can’t disprove that ruling, she’ll lose her farm.

The local authorities are uncooperative, so Matt turns to his ex-wife and a young computer prodigy for assistance. As he gets closer to the truth, Matt suspects both deaths are connected to a violent conspiracy with national implications. When the conspirators intensify their efforts to silence him, Matt must decide if it’s worth risking more lives—including his—to protect his friend and hundreds of other farmers from financial catastrophe.

To purchase Straight River from your nearest independent bookseller, click on the banner below. Then enter your zip code to find your local store and order directly from them. Mention to the store personnel that they might find Straight River at a better discount through on their wholesale ordering page.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit

Straight River is also available at Book,, or click HERE for other eBook and print options.

New in 2020, find Straight River in e-book version at:     Link to


As with sales of Castle Danger, each copy sold of Straight River, print or eBook, generates a $1.00 donation from Chris to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern MN. Thanks for your support of a great mentoring organization.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.