Fast paced whodunit, with dry humor. Sweet, romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.
Private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels teams up with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster’s missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against the husband’s pro-Israel, conspiracy theory broadcasts. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes from a manicured Connecticut estate, to interviews with an elitist A-List society crowd, and run-ins with cranky local police detectives. Then they plunge deep into the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world, with the specter of international terrorism hovering.
Hughes has recently been promoted to lieutenant in the Taylor County, Texas Sheriff’s Department. He’s on leave on a special assignment with Authorized Operations (AO), a clandestine, quasi-government agency operating out of a sea-side mansion in Hither Hills, NY. The only thing is, many powerful politicians, and government big-wigs claim Authorized Operations doesn’t exist.
Ronnie is furious at both Hughes and the broadcaster for waiting thirty-six hours to start the search. She knows the longer it takes, the less chance there is of finding the child alive. The problem is, radio talk-show host Ed Harper has been hoping-against-hope that his pot-smoking, model wife is on one of her ‘esoteric experiences’ and has simply taken the child while she romps for a few days. He doesn’t want to seriously consider the other, more hazardous possibility… that his radio broadcasts have angered some very dangerous people.
EXCERPT: From Chapter Two
Day One, Friday, Early Afternoon
Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Private Detective
What was wrong with Hughes? As a lawman, he had to have known better. He should’ve called in the local police a day and a half ago. What was he thinking? In a missing child case, time was essential, and they’d wasted a whole lot of precious hours.
I chewed off what was left of the pink polish on my thumb nail, gunned my Chevy Cruze Eco, and moved into the left lane on Interstate 95. In a time that now seemed distant, my late husband noted the car’s topaz-blue metallic finish matched my eyes. Of course, he’d been staring into another’s eyes, and I was the last to know about it.
When I resurfaced from my self-depreciating musing, New York State was behind me, and I-95 had become the Connecticut Turnpike. I hit the gas pedal again, but then changed my mind and slowed down. If I got pulled over for speeding that would waste even more time.
After another forty-five minutes, I bore down on the exit for Dunst. Following the instructions of the female voice on my GPS brought me to Main Street of this working-class village. It wasn’t exactly run-down, but could use some renewal in places. But, then, who was I to pass judgment? I lived in Brooklyn where the pigeons were as large as some single-engine planes and the subway rats even larger.
I made a turn onto Pequot Street and three houses later pulled into the driveway of a quaint, gray salt-box house, with miniscule front windows and a tiny garage. I parked behind a black Ford Explorer rental, and a tricked-out Harley Davidson motorcycle.
After grabbing my conceal-and-carry shoulder bag, I got out of the car, and clicked the key fob to lock the doors. When I’m driving long distances it’s more comfortable to have my Glock in a handbag than in a clip-on holster, sticking me in the side mile-after-mile.
I rang the bell and a geeky guy with squarish horn-rimmed glasses opened the door. Dawson Hughes stood several feet behind him.
A shadow passed over the man’s eyes and they narrowed. I couldn’t determine if it was confusion, or guilt and remorse. He took a faltering step back. “Um, come in, won’t you?”
I did, and marched directly to Hughes. “We’re thirty-six hours into a missing child case. Why haven’t the police been called?”