by Michael Walsh
GENRE: Mystery, with minor romance
All Detective Matt Conley ever wanted was to raise a family in Ocean Park with his stunning and ambitious wife Lisa. When a corpse is found in his church, Matt begins a journey that reveals corruption and decay in his city and deceit in his marriage. As he searches for the murderer of a local businessman, a gang war erupts for control of the city’s drug trade, and the body count rises. With his reluctant new partner, Detective Lloyd Kendricks, Matt weaves his way through the puzzling connections between street gangs, politicians, bikers, and a private kink club.
Will their unlikely alliance be enough to return Matt’s beloved hometown to its halcyon days? And will he find the faith he needs to rebuild his crumbling marriage?
The song ended. Dancers left the floor and blocked Conley’s way. He studied them, searching for Carrie. Odd task, trying to compare flesh, blood, and hair with Sage’s pencil sketches. He recognized one couple, but couldn’t remember the names Sage had written under their portraits.
A young brunette next—Mary? Marie?
Marcie, that was it. And Peter, thin face and smiling lips, was right behind.
One by one, Sage’s pencil people came alive and blossomed into three dimensions.
Toni stepped away from the crowd, dancing a slow grind with someone who was not her husband Dan.
Linda drank wine from a fluted glass. When it was finished, she turned and scooped a new one from a tray.
Artie’s eyes darted around the floor, inspecting female bodies as if they were cattle.
Conley walked past, through a mix of perfume, cologne, and booze so pungent it seemed to wet the air, and he saw Carrie. She looked as tired as her picture, eyes narrowed to slits, hair tousled as if she’d just woken. He trapped her in a corner. She tried to pass.
“Carrie,” he said. “Sage sent me.”
Sage’s picture of her was spot on. The upturned face spoke resignation and failure. Pupils were dilated and words slurred.
“Yeah?” she said dreamily, tilting her head. “Sage?”
“She said you’d help me find Victor’s killer.”
“Victor’s dead? Bummer. You a cop?”
“Then why do you care?”
“He owed me money.”
That, she understood.
Thompson had made it to the other side of the dance floor. He signaled her.
“Someone in the Paladin threatened Victor. Do you know who?”
Carrie closed her eyes and knit her brow. “I remember. It wasn’t us. Victor came with a friend—Richard—and they argued. He threatened to kill Victor, not us. They had a big blowout, Liam was pissed.”
Liam. Sage had thought him important enough to bring his picture to Conley’s boat, and her voice had quavered when she spoke his name. He gets what he wants, doesn’t take no for an answer. He’s rough with the girls sometimes—the willing and the unwilling.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Michael Walsh attended Boston University, where he became a staffer for the Daily Free Press and earned a degree in journalism. His first professional job was at a public relations and advertising firm, writing press releases that appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and New England Journal of Engineering. He later became a technical writer, writing and editing jet engine manuals for General Electric Aircraft Engines. GE relocated him to Cincinnati and Florida, where he currently resides. He’s written and studied fiction for years at BU, the University of Cincinnati, and now Jacksonville, where he won the First Coast Writers Festival short story contest and had work published in the UK’s Twisted Tongue and Askew Reviews. He’s an active member of the Bard Society, Florida’s longest-running writers’ workshop.
His five novels and dozens of short stories, most of them richly-layered mysteries, take place in New England. Mike and his wife Jean live in Florida with their three sons.
Amazon link to Ocean Park – http://amzn.to/1LEDxxg
Barnes and Noble link to Ocean Park – http://bit.ly/1KmExbw
Michael will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour
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