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The First Impression Paperback – February 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David K. Thomasson is a freelance writer who lives in Washington, DC. This is his first novel. He welcomes readers’ comments and questions through his website at dkthomasson.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482025078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482025071
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,692,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In "The First Impression" the murder is committed in Finchburg, Virginia, which anyone from central Virginia will recognize as Lynchburg, Virginia -- which is my hometown. Like Jack Bolt, I graduated from "Finchburg" College and have spent many a happy day at the Peaks of Otter Lodge ten miles west of Bedford Virginia.

After finishing at Lynchburg College (with a degree in math, of all things), I rattled around the countryside and wondered if I would ever grow up and set my sights on a career. The former is still in doubt, but I have stuck with writing for most of my adult life.

During my rattling about, I moved to Columbia, Missouri, earned a masters degree in journalism at the University of Missouri, and hired on as editorial page editor of the local newspaper, the Columbia Daily Tribune. After a year or so at that I rattled back into academia for a doctorate (in philosophy, of all things). Halfway along that trail I transferred to Brown University and finished the doctorate there. New England has its good points, but I didn't find it much to my liking, for two reasons: 1) The winters are too long and cold, and the winter days too short. 2) I am a Southerner and New Englanders, well, aren't.

For the next several years my writing consisted mostly of editorial writing -- at the Providence Journal while attending Brown, then at the Mobile Register when it was still a daily newspaper. One day I was at my desk pecking away at an editorial when out of the blue I received a phone call from someone in Washington offering me a job at a think tank. I took it and lived in the District of Chaos for fifteen years. My apartment was on Capitol Hill, a pleasant place that allowed me to take jogging routes that wound around the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and through the Capitol grounds.

In 2004 I left the think tank and went solo as a freelance writer. Sometime late in 2010 I got the itch to have a go at fiction -- as nonfiction writers seem wont to do -- which resulted in "The First Impression." In 2013, realizing that as a freelance I wasn't tethered to Washington, I moved back to my hometown of Lynchburg where I'm working on another novel. I'm still mulling over what I want to be when I grow up.

I welcome readers' comments, criticisms, and questions. Please visit my website at dkthomasson.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Morris on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a lot of fun to read. I can't remember reading anything recently where I felt attached to the main character so much and wanted things to turn out for him like I did with this book.
There were also some good surprises and twists that keep me turning the page.
Jack Bolt grows up dirt poor in the mountains but manages to leave and somehow become educated as well.
A single random moment changes his life forever and he spends a good part of the book trying to undo that incident - or at least make the outcome of it different.
I don't want to spoil any part of the plot but there are some nice surprises and unexpected turns and once I began reading this mystery I could not put it down until I finished it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy on March 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting story with unexpected turn of events. I especially enjoyed the unusual character descriptions, i.e. Sal "had a neck like a tree trunk and a head of blue-black Grecian curls trimmed short. His face sagged in the melancholy lines of a bulldog"; and Rev. Hobart Watts appeared like a black pillar with a carved mask face. "The pillar's eyes stared. The irises of bluish white, like a Siberian husky, making the black pupils seem uncommonly penetrating." Descriptions like these made the characters come alive. I hope we will see more to come from this author.
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Format: Paperback
One innocent interaction changes Jack Bolt's life, and not for the better. After a young woman is found murdered at a local church where Jack had been working, he's shocked. He is even more shocked when the police show up at his house asking questions. Being a good citizen, he is willing to do what he can to help, but it's the biggest mistake he could possibly make.

This book opens up with the telling of Bolt's early years. Saying he had a difficult childhood is a bit of an understatement. This begging section isn't integral to thee main storyline, but it shows how Jack Bolt became the man he is. Even though this was something of a separate story, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. In fact I felt like I was able to connect with Bolt in this first section much easier than in the rest of the book. That was partly due to the fact that this part is written in first person, but it was also because the telling of the events had a more personal tone. Normally I prefer fiction for adults to be written in this person, but I think the rest of the book would have been better served if it had been written in first person the whole way through.

The bulk of the story focuses on Jack's experiences after a local teenager is murdered and he is framed for
the crime. The actual trial doesn't take up more than a few chapters. Most of the book focuses on the events that happen after the trial. Overall, I thought the plot was well thought out. Thomasson obviously did his research on topics like digital photo manipulation, police procedure, and criminology. At times the amount of technical details shared with the reader was too much and slowed down the passing quite a bit, but readers who are not familiar with digital photography as I am might not feel the same way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I approached the reading of this book with some apprehension. The author is a valued friend of many years, and reading and evaluating a friend's first work of fiction -- and doing an honest job of it -- can be fraught with pitfalls for the friendship. I could attest to the high quality of his letters, essays, and other writing, but I also knew that writing a good letter or essay doesn't necessarily translate into the ability to come up with a good yarn.

My apprehension, however, was misplaced. The First Impression is a taut, clever adventure. The protagonist, Jack Bolt, is convicted of a murder he didn't commit. The adventure ensues as Jack goes through a parade of plot twists, narrow escapes, and life-changing experiences in his quest to clear himself of the charge of murder. The plotting is handled well, Jack's character is developed nicely, and the dialogue is crisp and well-suited to the action. The writing style is concise, but with plenty of well-turned descriptive passages.

Buy the book. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
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By bob on May 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Extremely well written. The best sign of a good novel is when one is sad upon finishing the book. Sad that the enjoyment of the story is over. This story leaves you longing for another book to read. I am not a "novel" reader but this book made me cut the television off because I was so interested to find out the next twist or turn in the story. I hope the author writes another book as enthralling as this one.
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By Jlowe on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great book. I highly recommend this book.
Once you start reading, you really do not want to stop!
I hope he writes another one soon!
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