Jazz musician finds redemption in fictional ‘The Perfect Fourth’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

Preston Gomez, a San Francisco-based jazz musician, finds himself having to relearn to play the piano following a hand injury caused by his estranged wife, Suzanne, after learning of his affair with Mona, the love of his life.

When Suzanne turns up dead in Brooklyn, Preston travels to New York to clear his name, to find Mona, and redemption.

So goes “The Perfect Fourth” by J.C. Hopkins.

Hopkin’s debut work of fiction was inspired by his own experiences with love and life.

“The same kind of obsessive love that possesses Preston in the book,” Hopkins said. “That and the habit and rhythm of writing.”

As an artist, Hopkins is drawn to creating.

“I am compelled to create,” he said. “Whether it is writing, painting, composing; as a way to process my experience in this life and to also leave something to mark my place.”

Preston’s story of redemption begins and ends with what could be described as a metaphor for life.

“He’s talking about being a musician, specifically a jazz musician, and that you can basically have all the techniques, all the skill in the world, but if you don’t have your own voice then you’re really not saying very much,” Hopkins said. “So, by having had his ability to play fast taken away from him and his love also taken away from him, he’s able to play and also live in a deeper way than he ever had before.”

“The Perfect Fourth” can be enjoyed by a wide audience.

It’s Hopkins’ hope that after reading his book and connecting with Preston’s journey, readers are moved to make changes to their own lives.

“In a way, it’s like in the pandemic, we’ve had so much taken away from us, but hopefully it’s caused us to reflect on what we have and I think Preston’s story of isolating and self-isolating is something that kind of happens to us,” Hopkins said. “And the world that he creates for himself in those moments of solitude I think is a lesson, too, for how you make the world that you make for yourself.”

In addition to being an author, Hopkins is a musician, poet, writer and father. To learn more about the author and his work visit, jchopkins.com.

“The Perfect Fourth” is available for $12 (print) or $2.99 (Kindle) via jchopkins.com/merch and noirnation.com/books.

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