The Sam Hotel, Setting of New Thriller, Hosts Local Author for Q&A

HOUSTON'S OLDEST OPERATING hotel, The Sam Houston, was originally built in 1924, and sat vacant during the oil bust of the 1980s. While it has since been restored — and is now a few blocks from other reestablished Downtown hot spots like Market Square Park and the Theater District — the then-abandoned (and haunted?!) hotel of the '80s is the setting of a new thriller, Payback Jack, by local author Timothy Gene Sojka. Sojka will be at the hotel tomorrow for a book signing and Q&A beginning at 11am.

The suspenseful novel, published last month, kicks off with a politically charged assassination committed on The Sam's fourth floor. The main character, widow and estranged father Smith Driskell, kills child molester and murderer Rodney William Markum. Sojka, who is also an area real estate agent, first had the idea for the book after reading an article in the Houston Chronicle about a death-row inmate more than two decades ago, and has been working on it since.

Tomorrow's event includes a meet-and-greet and signing, followed by a hotel tour at 1pm, and a Q&A at 2pm; Texas-themed snacks and drinks will be provided. And The Sam is offering a package tonight and tomorrow night that includes a bottle of wine and complimentary valet parking.

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