Local Author Debuts Crime-Legal Drama Novel
By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Combining stories of Alaska commercial fisheries, old-school journalism, the Green River Killer investigation, DNA forensic science, and the disappearance of Pacific salmon, local author Conrad Jungmann Jr. has debuted his first book, “Edge of Redfish.”
“It’s really a story of the salmon fishery. I wanted to capture the story of salmon and do that in a way that was a murder-suspense story,” said Jungmann.
Set in 1988, half of the story takes place in Alaska, following a policeman’s search for American serial killer the Green River Killer, lying dormant after a string of murders. The plot then moves to Everett, Washington, following a recent college graduate who aspires to be a journalist but runs into trouble during his last summer working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. Eventually, the two stories come together searching for the “closure of heinous crimes that haunt one man and threaten the other,” according to the Pacific Book Review.
Due to the nature of the time, Jungmann’s characters follow old-school methods, as the story is set in a time where detectives and journalists don’t have access to modern tools and devices considered essential today. DNA forensic science strings through Edge of Redfish, says Jungmann, as it had been newly adopted to detective work.
An underlying theme in Jungmann’s novel is the continuous disappearance of salmon, told through the narratives of fishermen and environmentalists.
Jungmann drew inspiration from his past, having spent six summers during college in Alaska, traveling throughout the state while working for a commercial fishery. Living in Lynnwood for the past 20 years, Jungmann says that he’s always admired Everett, especially before it began development.
The plot of Edge of Redfish sat with Jungmann for 25 years, overwhelming inspiration coming to him one day. The book has earned Pacific Book Review’s Starred review based on books of excellent merit.
“Once I started writing I didn’t stop. I wrote from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed for 90 days,” said Jungmann. “Start to finish it took two years to write both the novel and the screenplay.”
Jungmann says he’s always imagined the story as a movie and decided to tackle writing the novel and screenplay simultaneously.
“When you have what you think is a great story, you want as many people to see it and read it as possible,” he said.