Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Isaac Morris  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1949 in Lake City, Iowa

Died: June 16, 2014 in Springfield, Illinois

-- Isaac Morris on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Morris lived in Illinois most of his life. He lived in Jacksonville from 1956 to 1972, graduating from Our Saviour’s Grade School and Routt High School. He studied for one year at the Diocesan Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois College for a year and graduated from MacMurray College in 1972.

Biographical and Professional Information

Isaac "Marty" Morris received a Master’s Degree from Butler University in Cooperation with Christian Theological Seminary (CTS), Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974. He studied for a year in the Masters of Divinity Program, where he served as teaching assistant to the Church History Department at CTS.

In 2008, Marty retired from the State of Illinois after thirty years split between the Illinois Department of Insurance and the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. While at the Department of Insurance, he served two years as President of the National Association of HMO Regulators (NAHMOR).

Marty also taught as an adjunct instructor at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield for more than 30 years, and also taught classes for Richland Community College, the College of St. Francis, and the Illinois Humanities Council. After retiring from the state, he developed the online Philosophy courses for Lincoln Land and taught those courses until illness forced him to retire. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct of the Year Award at Lincoln Land.

He was the author of two novels and also wrote book reviews and was a community blogger for the State Journal-Register addressing culture and books.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Absence of Goodness
ISBN: 1440116709

iUniverse. 2009

When a sheriff's deputy is brutally murdered, fellow deputy Margaret Donovan-his lover-questions every choice she has made as her life spins out of control. Struggling to find meaning amidst chaos, she returns to the faith in which she was raised. A friendship with a local nun motivates Margaret to hand in her badge and gun and devote her life to the convent.

Poised to make her final profession and take the veil, Margaret learns of the murder of two students. Her former boss asks her to help him to solve the killings. Margaret soon links the recent murders and a thirty-year-old cold-case slaying of another Saint Dominic's student. She also realizes the first murder is entangled in a cover-up designed to protect some influential people.

Working to identify the killer, her burdens escalate. Another child is on the killer's hit list, and she finds the detective with whom she's working, Bill Templeton, falling in love with her. Realizing she makes bad choices more often then she would like, Margaret desperately attempts to solve the murders and reconcile her spiritual and secular lives. Only God knows where it will all end, but Margaret's faith-and ultimately her love-will lead her to the truth.

Along the River Road
ISBN: 1466469749

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2012

The ninth circle of Dante’s hell is where we find those who have betrayed a special relationship—such as the one between priest and child. It is this spiritual pit we encounter “Along the River Road.” Sister Margaret Donovan, a former sheriff’s deputy, has turned in her gun and badge to take the veil. She works as parish administrator for a small congregation in rural southern Illinois. The idyllic assignment turns dark when an elderly priest is assigned to say mass on Sundays. Some in the church recognize him. A suicide in the parish alerts Margaret that there is something awry, but she gets no help from her diocese: they claim not to know a thing. Margaret’s cop instincts kick into high gear, and she soon encounters dark secrets buried in the past, a bureaucracy that doesn’t cough up secrets easily, and a link to a hideous murder-suicide that occurred forty years earlier. Sister Margaret isn’t like any nun you have ever know. She is a flawed individual who struggles to maintain her vocation in a world where faith has gone by the wayside. Her struggle with criminality mirrors her own struggle with sin and redemption.


  • Editor's Choice Award, ''The Absence of Goodness''