It's almost impossible not to come across a story every day about another victim of the opioid/mental health crisis that is devastating cities around the globe.
This ongoing tragedy encompasses so many issues and has so many facets but at the end of the day it is a tragedy of people. Real people who have real stories and whose stories have elements that anyone can relate too.
So, what makes a person succumb to pain, depression and despair? Why are some people able to stay clean and others can't break free? The answer is not always the same, neither is the end of each persons tale. Taking a page from a true life news article, singer/songwriter Steve Murphy embraces the idea of the person behind the byline in a short story centering on Mark; a homeless man who battles his personal demons, usually without much success.
From the opening of Foul Play is Not Suspected Murphy asks the questions we should ask and take the time to think about. The characters of this short story could be anybody and like anybody, they have twists and turns in their lives; as well as a desire to find the best lives for themselves.
The crisis' of drugs and depression often go hand in hand and by no means can be put into a box or a quick article but the authors considerable talent allows him to illustrate an accurate and savvy picture of how these problems affect all people in society.
At the center of Foul Play is Not Suspected is Mark an everyday man who becomes the symbol of a life interrupted by darkness and bad decisions and the inability to get past his addiction. But, there are more layers to Mark and to Murphy's story in general. Thankfully, the message is not lost in complexity nor overwritten to prove a point. His vision stays true to the message and is clear as well as impactful.
Steve Murphy closes the story with links and ideas to be more active, as well as a link to the original article and a link to an informative article about the health risks of opioids.
Reading stories like Foul Play is Not Suspected will help put the right take on this overwhelming problem and should be part of any book club. A longer version of the story would have been wonderful.