Leave the Night to God (Paperback)
Twelve-year-old Frankie Walker’s whole world is baseball, Daddy, and foxhunting. Daddy's stroke forces Frankie to learn to survive on his own—or become a permanent resident of the Missouri Orphan’s School and Residence. With the help of a fellow orphan, Frankie bolts the orphanage and hooks up with a Black barnstorming baseball team and their young, female pitcher, Linda. But nothing good can last. When Linda drops him at the bus station so he can join Daddy in Kansas, he's mistaken as Linda’s child and abducted by the Ku Klux Klan. Facing death by torture, Frankie is saved by Paul. When Frankie and Daddy finally reunite, Daddy's stroke has left him stiff and silent as a tombstone. There'll be no more nights chasing their foxhounds, but Frankie has learned on his long and harrowing journey that he’s a survivor. Set in America's Midwest of the 1950s, where racial injustice still has a tight grip, Leave the Night to God proves that kindness may be found in unexpected places, that “family” is not about the color of one’s skin, and to remain true to one’s values is what it means to be a man.
A former Marine, Pete Peterson’s work has appeared in publications as varied as Ravens Perch, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Charles Carter – A Working Anthology, Annals of America, and Stoneslide Collective. His After Midnight – A Short Story Collection (Pallamary Publishing) debuted in 2019. He resides in Southern California.
“Want to immerse yourself in a true to life ‘great escape’ seen through the eyes of an eleven-year-old? Put yourself in the hands of accomplished storyteller, R. L. Peterson, who makes you feel you’re in every scene of his fine work, Leave the Night to God. You won't regret it.” —Matthew J. Pallamary, awarding winning author of Land of No Evil; Phantastic Fiction - A Shamanic Approach to Story; Spirit Matters; PICAFLOR
“I absolutely loved Frankie. He may be 'tough as hickory and smart as a raven,' but he is still just a kid, innocent and caring, the kind of young boy you want to hug and reassure that everything will be okay, even as he faces situations no child should have to deal with. Leave the Night to God, R. L. Peterson’s latest take on the American family of the 1950’s is a story readers will long remember and really never put down. A great story of one young man’s battle to belong that readers will never forget.” —Michelle Ivy Davis, author of Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel and Tales of a World Nomad
“R. L. Peterson’s work is mesmerizing. He presents believable characters in easy to visualize situations. His rich plotting and wonderful dialog puts the reader in the middle of the action and keeps him turning. Peterson's use of language, his humor, insights, and storytelling make Leave the Night to God a courageous work of modern literature.” —Clive Aaron Gill, author of French Perfume and More, The Best Transport Company, and The Great Betrayal
"R. L. Peterson is a genius storyteller. With every word he writes, the reader is convinced what he writes is real. His true to life characters, rich with human frailties, and the gut-wrenching circumstances each faces, and the settings, baptized with substantive historical elements, make Peterson's writing a masterpiece of fiction."—Tanya Ross, author of the Tranquility series
"A veteran, award winning writer, Peterson spins a great story using vocabulary that creates a tale even those with limited English skills will cherish.” —Shu Bethune Wang, author of Secrets of Words
“Leave the Night to God is beautifully written, almost poetic at times, while providing authentic period detail, and edge-of-your-seat action. The Ku Klux Klan captures Frankie and plans to give him a Firestone Necklace (a rubber tire around his neck, filled with gasoline and set on fire). Frankie escapes using guile and baseball pitching knowledge learned from Little Linda, the Black female pitcher of the barnstorming Kings. In these tense scenes, for the first time in fiction, that my research show, the reader learns the secret coded language the KKK speaks with and what it means. This alone should gain Peterson great acclaim. His description of Frankie’s escape, how Frankie uses his moxie to stave off capture is, pure and simple, fine literature.” —Collen Pallamary, author of Meet Bridgetown’s Sweetheart and The Vampire Preservation Society