Robin Yocum was born in Steubenville and grew up in the Eastern Ohio village of Brilliant. He is well known for his work as a crime and investigative reporter with the Columbus Dispatch from 1980-1991. He was the recipient of 30 local, state, and national journalism awards in categories ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and is known for his fiction set in the Ohio River Valley.
Robin Yocum speaks about writing and publishing and shares his insights about writing, including strategies for generating ideas and developing the persistence needed to succeed.
A PERFECT SHOT (2018): Nearly two decades after he made the winning shot in the state championship basketball game, Nicholas “Duke” Ducheski remains the most adored man in the eastern Ohio steel town of Mingo Junction. Approaching forty and no longer wanting to be defined solely by something he did when he was eighteen, Duke parlays his local popularity into a successful restaurant—”Duke’s Place.”
No sooner does he get his restaurant up and running than disaster strikes. “Little Tony” DeMarco, his brother-in-law and a known mob enforcer, murders Duke’s oldest friend. Now Duke faces the hardest decision of his life. DeMarco thinks he’s untouchable, but Duke discovers a way to take him down, along with his mob superiors.
To do so, however, means leaving Mingo Junction and sacrificing his treasured identity as the town legend. And if he follows through, what will remain of his life?
A WELCOME MURDER (2017): After his unspectacular professional baseball career ends with a knee injury in Toledo, Ohio, Johnny Earl gets busted for selling cocaine. After serving seven years in prison, all he wants to do is return to his hometown of Steubenville, retrieve the drug money he stashed before he went to jail, and start a new life where no one has ever heard of Johnny Earl.
However, before he can leave town with his money, Johnny is picked up for questioning in the murder of Rayce Daubner, the FBI informant who had set him up on drug charges in the first place. Then his former prison cellmate shows up—a white supremacist who wants the drug money to help fund an Aryan nation in the wilds of Idaho.
Five memorable characters, each with a separate agenda, come together in this layered tale of murder, deceit, and political intrigue
A BRILLIANT DEATH (2016): Amanda Baron died in a boating accident on the Ohio River in 1953. Or, did she? While it was generally accepted that she had died when a coal barge rammed the pleasure boat she was sharing with her lover, her body was never found.
Travis Baron was an infant when his mother disappeared. After the accident and the subsequent publicity, Travis’s father scoured the house of all evidence that Amanda Baron had ever lived, and her name was never to be uttered around him. Now in high school, Travis yearns to know more about his mother. With the help of his best friend, Mitch Malone, Travis begins a search for the truth about the mother he never knew. The two boys find an unlikely ally: an alcoholic former detective who served time for falsifying evidence. Although his reputation is in tatters, the information the detective provides about the death of Amanda Baron is indisputable—and dangerous.
Nearly two decades after her death, Travis and Mitch piece together a puzzle lost to the dark waters of the Ohio River. They know how Amanda Baron died, and why. Now what do they do with the information?