Read this local author’s first crime novel
Kevin Kluesner has worked in healthcare for over 40 years, the last four as an administrator at Ascension St. Joseph, and in October he started as a site administrator for the new Mental Health Emergency Center the 12and and drown. But aside, Kluesner writes.
This month, Kluesner published his first novel, The killer sermon with Level Best Books.
“I never wanted to be one-dimensional,” says Kluesner. “During my healthcare journey, I often had a side gig. I worked as an outdoor editor for a daily newspaper.
The novel, set in Milwaukee, follows an FBI agent and a Sentinel Diary journalist on the trail of a killer targeting doctors who perform abortions.
“It’s the story of two protagonists, a man and a woman, who have very different opinions on the issue of reproductive rights,” says Kluesner. “But they have to put those differences aside to catch a killer.”
The opening scene sees the anonymous shooter on a Milwaukee rooftop, gun in hand, waiting for his target. After the murder, the story turns to Cole Huebsch, an FBI agent based at the Milwaukee Field Office in St. Francis (not a fictional office, by the way – the FBI is really on Lake Drive in St. Francis) . Huebsch is assigned to solve the murder.
Kluesner knows that the subject of abortion is controversial. “My characters express their own opinions, but you won’t find mine in the book,” he says. “Other than maybe this: our words matter. We need to own them and realize that what we say will have consequences, sometimes in ways we never intended or imagined. Second, no matter how great our differences are on the issues that divide our time, we must respect each other.
At Sentinel DiaryAt Michele Fields’ offices, Michele Fields writes about the shooting, then receives an email from the killer. When she reports it to the police, Huebsch meets her at the Calderone Club to talk, and their initially uneasy alliance begins.
The novel is an entertaining mystery and thriller for any reader, but it holds a special place for Milwaukee residents. It’s packed with local details — like characters sipping a Motto Mosaic Pale Ale from Good City Brewing, grabbing a taco from BelAir, or Huebsch’s past as a wrestler for the Marquette team.
“My novel celebrates Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” says Kluesner.
The killer sermon is available now on Kindle and other e-reading platforms, and the paperback is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and local booksellers. Kluesner also does several book readings and signings – for a full schedule of events, check out his website, linked here.