Author: T.P. Jones

Publisher: Austin, TX: Synergy Books, c. 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9842358-8-9

Click Here To Purchase River Rising: Book Three

River Rising is the third and final book in The Loss of Certainty trilogy, the first of which was Jackson and the second The Gamble, although it can also be read as a stand-alone volume. Almost all of the scenes in River Rising take place in the fictional community of Jackson, based loosely on the city of Dubuque, Iowa. The book tells of how the city officials and families face the impending “worst flood in the history of the white man on the Upper Mississippi.” Not far from the reader’s mind will no doubt be the media coverage of such other water-borne disasters as the devastation wrought on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and the numerous other floods that have occurred in recent American history.   

As Jones reveals in an interview on, when he set out to write a novel set in what he considers to be the archetypal Midwest, he originally set aside two years in which to research and write the book. One book turned out to be three, and two years turned out to be eighteen. But all his hard work has paid off. The 380-page book that rounds out the series is a concentrated gem of fast-paced action, which moves at a cracking pace. Jones’ fluid and free-flowing style is facilitated by his frequent use of dialogue, so that, despite his showing a great deal of technical expertise, learned through hands-on experience on the job, he does not overwhelm one with a crushing amount of unnecessary detail. His writing is succinct and pithy, elaborating on characters and situations only when he needs to do so for the purpose of the plot. The true-to-life nature of the text is based on months of research spent in the various city departments, up close and personal with just the types of middle-class employees whom he so aptly describes, though he takes care that none of his characters is based on the real-life city employees whom he encountered. In order to write a credible story of a town facing the onslaught of a potential major flood, Jones also interviewed many officials elsewhere, including some based in the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Despite Jones’ claiming that he found the interrelationships and power play between the characters to be of more riveting interest than the individual characters themselves, all of the characters are well-rounded and thoroughly believable beings in their own right. Walter, the weather man, for example, is described as having a gut instinct for his work: “Sometimes a man, if he had spent his entire life attuning himself to the nuances of his experiences, the subtle fields of energy flowing through him…sometimes he knew more than he knew.”

A thoughtfully written, and thought-provoking, novel, River Rising should have a wide audience, not only among all those who are intrigued by inner-city politicking, but also among all those who care about the life blood of America as it courses through the arteries and veins of the most commonplace of its citizenry. A profoundly moving book that should have you grabbing for the first two books in the series if you haven’t read them yet, River Rising is well worth any time and effort that you spend on acquiring your very own copy.

Click Here To Purchase River Rising: Book Three