by Bill Larkin
When a wealthy real estate developer convinces Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Schmidt to search for his missing son, Schmitty senses trouble. It’s not the fact that it’s a prohibited side job, it’s the fact that he has to team up with Megan McCann, an attractive private investigator with her own set of rules.
Finding a body in the trunk of a BMW sends Schmitty and Megan on an adrenalized trail through Southern California unraveling a sophisticated real estate scam. A run-in with the LAPD and some hardcore gang members opens new perspectives on the case, and they begin to glimpse a shocking web of greed and corruption.
The situation suddenly becomes more complex – and personal – when the billionaire takes matters into his own hands and Schmitty’s own department gets involved. When Schmitty and Megan go to Catalina Island to track down the one man who may know everything, they uncover a secret that could make or break the billionaire. And when Schmitty miscalculates the man, it could get them killed. Before all this, Schmitty had been unfairly outcast in his department. Now he’s here to protect and serve. To make justice prevail and figure out who to bring down.
Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: Spyglass Press
Publication Date: 9/16/14
Number of Pages: 237
Read an excerpt:
I grabbed the door key from the envelope, but before I stuck it in the lock, I knocked. No answer. As I reached to insert the key, the door swung open.
The girl who filled the doorway was striking. My bet was she’d left behind a debris field of men, whoever she was. I guessed her age as early forties but it was always a little hard to tell in Newport Beach. Her long hair was the color of honey and her lips were glossy and just about perfect. She was dressed in jeans and a yellow blouse, and big hoop earrings dangled brightly. I couldn’t decide if she was more professional looking or playful looking. She held a cell phone in her hand and gave me an intent stare through pretty green eyes.
I said, “I’m looking for Jimmy Whelan. Is he here?”
“You’re Schmitty? Megan McCann. Pleased to meet you,” she said in a velvety voice.
She shook my hand then turned and left the door open as she walked inside with a purpose. She was making call on her cell and ignoring me as she poked around the kitchen drawers. Faint perfume lingered in the air and I liked the scent. She was too old be to Jimmy’s girlfriend.
She raised the phone to her ear and said, “We’re on it.”
She ended the call and gave me a look that seemed to say, what are you doing here? I was about to ask her who she was when my cell vibrated.
I recognized Mac Whelan’s voice. “Mr. Whelan. I’m at Jimmy’s.”
“I know. You just met Megan McCann, also known as M Squared. She’s going to work with you.”
“She’s a private investigator I know. Extremely good at what she does. You’re a cop who knows Jimmy. I have no doubt you’ll find him working together.”
So life had been mocking me for a while, and now I was wondering if Mac Whelan was too.
“Private investigator? You told me you didn’t have anybody else to help.”
“Be a team player, Schmitty. And I get to pick the team. Keep me posted.” He disconnected.
I stared at the phone a moment then slid it into my pocket and smiled at her. “M Squared? That’s cute.”
“Not as cute as a Harbor Patrol cop tagging along with me. Triple A on the water with a gun. Are you going to be useful or just full of bullshit?”
I spread my hands. “Resourceful is my middle name.”
She smiled. “So mostly bullshit. Don’t stand around. Let’s turn this place and find something. It would brighten my life considerably.”
Bill Larkin is the author of Detective Lessons, and several crime thriller short stories, including The Highlands, OC Confidential, The Deep End, and Shadow Truth. In addition to working in commercial real estate, Bill previously served as a Reserve Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, then the Los Angeles Police Department where he last worked in a detective assignment. Bill is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. He lives in Orange County, California.
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