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Thriller novel has Jefferson County spin

April 13, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Community editor ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Although "Tax Collectors and Other Sinners" is a work of fiction, the fact is it's written by an author who knows first hand a lot about the Internal Revenue Service.

Wayne Vinson, who lives near Minerva, spent 33 years with the IRS, including seven years supervising revenue officers in the Steubenville IRS office.

His local presentation Saturday about his IRS action novel - which comes ironically in the final days of filing 2011 returns - will give Vinson a chance to explain why he wrote it and why much of the action takes place in Jefferson and Carroll counties.

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AUTHOR – Wayne Vinson is the author of “Tax Collectors … and Other Sinners,” an IRS thriller novel he’ll discuss during a presentation and signing set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the main library of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County. Vinson, who lives in Robertsville, retired from the IRS in 1992 after a career that included supervising revenue officers in the Steubenville IRS office. -- Janice Kiaski

Vinson will discuss his novel and be available to sign and sell copies at the Main Library of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, beginning at 1 p.m.

"They say to write what you know about," said Vinson, who retired from the IRS in 1992, serving as a revenue officer from 1959 to 1967, then a group manager or first-line supervisor for the following 25 years.

As one who likes to write and likes action/mystery/chase stories, Vinson said writing a book was a sort of retirement goal, one that ultimately came to fruition with the May 2011 release of his novel self-published through AuthorHouse of Bloomington, Ind.

The cover notes Vinson was motivated to write it "by his love of mystery novels and by an interest in the impact of hard IRS actions on taxpayers."

"To my knowledge, this book is the only novel about the IRS. If you like thrillers, this is the one," Vinson said of the book he'll have available for sale Saturday - the soft cover for $15 and the hard cover with dust jacket for $22. The book also is sold by Amazon, Barnes and Noble and AuthorHouse.

Pure and simple, the book is about vengeance, according to Vinson, who grew up in Indiana and had his first IRS post assignment in Painesville, then Youngstown, then Canton.

"A good man owns a machine shop near Salineville, gets in deep tax trouble and can't get out. IRS officers seize and sell the machine shop, and the man commits suicide. His 13-year-old son finds his dad dying at the end of a rope and swears vengeance against the IRS. Years later the son begins killing IRS employees in spectacular ways. He leaves numbered tags with the bodies, indicating he will kill more," Vinson said.

"IRS inspectors work frantically to identify and catch the one killing their people. The action rages across Ohio, back to an abandoned coal mine, which underlies both Jefferson and Carroll counties," he said.

Vinson owns more than 200 wooded acres near Salineville, which "just seemed like a good place to write a thriller about. Also, I'm intrigued by old mines, and Salineville has a huge, abandoned coal mine under it with hundreds of rooms. Much of the action in the book takes place in a mine somewhat similar to the real mine underneath Salineville."

The sheriffs and deputies of both Jefferson and Carroll counties play a large part in identifying and capturing the killer in Vinson's "taxing tale," a story that's "purely a work of fiction although the fictional revenue officers do what I did as a revenue officer," he said.

"I believe people will learn a little about the IRS through the action of the characters in the book," Vinson said.

And he believes readers will enjoy the journey from beginning to end.

"This is surely the action book of the year. If you like thrillers, you are gonna' love this book."

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