A school shooting and groundswell of demand to arm teachers moves the satire of suburban America into the Trump era in Shady Park Panic, Book 2 of the Shady Park Chronicles Series.
Anthony, the reporter from Book 1, First World Problems, now becomes the focus. When he submits his report that it was unarmed teachers who subdued the assailant while two parents who had claimed to be armed for personal protection fled the scene, his publisher deletes those details. It's not what the public wants to read, and, besides, as Anthony finds out, the Ledger publisher is lending his support to a pro-gun, anti-immigrant politician in return for a favor.
The assailant had aimed his gun at a parent in a hejab. But a mystery develops when it is discovered that, although a teacher was wounded, it was not the assailant's gun that fired the shot. Bea, an evangelistic School Board member, falsely claims she saw the woman in the hejab fire the shot, and it's up to Anthony to prove the woman's innocence and find out who actually shot the teacher.
The publisher's daughter leaves the paper-and Anthony-to take up with a TV news anchor and starts broadcasting false reports that stir up fear of terrorism. Anthony falls in love with her replacement, the beautiful Pari, who encourages him to keep reporting the truth despite the publisher's threats to fire both of them. Together they reveal how Bea and her cronies have schemed to cash in on the fear of terrorism they helped to spread.
Rea Keech has lived in Severna Park, Maryland, in the same house since 1980. He enjoys sailing on the Severn River and writing.
He was Professor of English at Anne Arundel Community College from 1978 to 2013, when he retired. Before that he taught at the University of South Carolina, Voorhees College, the University of Tehran, and at schools in Japan, and Greece.
Keech is also a reviewer of books. His reviews can be found on his publisher's website, www.realnicebooks.com
He served in the Peace Corps in Iran from 1967 to 1969, where his assignment was to teach English at the University of Tehran.
At the community college, Keech taught international students for many years and heard their stories. He says refugees arrived in his class after the war in Vietnam and Cambodia and later fleeing the fighting in Afghanistan. He says the stories of some of them were heartbreaking, and he wants to acknowledge their strength and perseverance in his novels.