South on Pacific Coast Highway: Gary Corcoran
A frantic phone call from a close friend sends PI Michael Devlin in motion. Arrested for the murder of his wife, trying to convince Michael of his innocence the facts are coming in and the evidence is stacking up but not before we learn more about this man’s wife. As Michael reaches out to a close friend to defend this man three more bodies find themselves at his front door you might say. South on Pacific Coast Highway is a story dealing with hardnosed cops, murder, the FBI, fortune tellers and a billionaire whose dealings are suspect and whose demeanor makes you wonder just what he’s really all about.
Then a client calls, comes to his office and winds up dead on his floor. Just who shot Cliff Black, where is his wife Audrey and why would the police think that Mike had anything to do with it. What did his last words mean and exactly why did Audrey disappear? But connected to everyone so far is our billionaire whose wife is divorcing him and who has more charges against him making you wonder why he is still walking around on the outside.
As Michael’s PI, Kenny, investigates Cliff and Audrey we find a connection to not only the billionaire but we learn about the corruption in her business. Just how will this all connect and who else is involved. What about the fortune teller that Audrey’s sister seemed bent on seeing, who is Boris and his friend’s adorable poodle as Steve McPherson is charged with his wife Connie’s murder and the bail has yet to be set and the charges seemed trumped up but are they? The setting is Laguna Beach, CA and the scenes are quite graphically and vividly depicted as we hear the voice of our main character relate the events as they happen and hear the banter between him and the police making you wonder just how hard they are trying to clear Steve or if there is something they are not revealing. Is his friend wrongly incarcerated, is there more to why Connie wanted a divorce just what did Cliff’s dying words mean: “My wife Audrey, she know the… the what? Just what is the real story behind Dirk Vanderhof the billionaire the online gambling business mogul who seems linked to all of the murders and whose name appears everywhere?
As Mike tries his hand at finding Audrey he follows a lead and tracks her down to a hotel where he meets some hostile company. Two Feds decide to rough him up, declare he better back off from the case and then finds himself in dire trouble. Without any regard for what they threatened he continues on and finds himself called to the scene of a third murder along with Detective Whalen. All roads for some reason seem to lead back to Dirk Vanderhof, the billionaire, the death of Steve’s wife, the missing wife and Cliff Black for some reason seem connected as we learn more about Audrey’s illegal business.
Every step of the way he faces obstacles as he tries to sort out all three murders. Who killed Connie, Cliff Black and now Dan Colby as he hunts for the reasons the feds block him, rough him up and the police are on his tail with questions too. Added in we have the Russian Mob, a Russian named Boris and a fortuneteller named Sylvia linked with Audrey. But, when face to face with Audrey trouble brews he’s chased again, really roughed up and you begin to wonder just whom the suspect is and why everyone is out to get Devlin.
Within the many plots we learn more about Audrey and the arms deal that went sour, her partner Rick who hires Devlin and wonder just what part she might have played in her husband’s murder. With Steve still in jail waiting to be arraigned, the police targeting Devlin for more answers while he shoots them more questions we wonder just where all of this is going and who is behind the murders. Added in the billionaire wants to hire Mike to rid himself of Rick, Audrey’s partner a guy named Nacho seems to be in the mix with the arms deal and the plot keeps readers glued to the page to find out how all of this will play out.
Enter Rick and Dan’s wife Doris who seem to be more than just friends and definitely connected. Insurance policies to be paid, one dead husband, a wife who could care less, links to a man named Jack and all the pieces and roads turn in the direction of one billionaire.
While Devlin deals with the police they discuss who might have killed Dan, why and the link to five or six others who might be guilty too. Everyone thinks Devlin has all of the answers but in reality he was roped into this mess when he decided to help Steve. A shipping container that might solve it all, a man whose business dealings got him killer, a guy named Nacho in the thick of things and two goons named Dick and Tom who appear at odd times. A will that would ex out one wife, someone that she got to put the squeeze on him and the rest you will have to learn for yourself because I promised Mike that I would honor the confidentiality clause that he placed in his agreements. Just whom was Dan cheating with, who really killed him and why does every conversation lead back to Vanderhof?
Let’s add it up: Connie was divorcing Steve. Steve is in jail for her murder and before Mike could help us sort out the rest more shots are fired and this time more Feds are around and why is he being cuffed again? Explaining his links, the Mexicans shaking down one of his clients, the Russian connection and more just who were these guys, who are Tom and Dick and Mike reveals one piece of information to them in order to get out of their clutches.
As the pieces of the puzzle and all of the players find themselves in the same place we learn a hidden truth about Vanderhof that links it all together. Russian mobs, Feds, the police, arms dealers, arms targeted for a foreign country, Mexican arms dealers and two women caught in the crossfire looking for the same way out. Just who killed Connie and why Cliff Black and Dan Colby had to be sacrificed too? What secret bound them together and where did Audrey Black fit into the equation and what happens when Mike realizes her real motives? Who can be trusted and who is working both sides? There are some things that people like Mike are not supposed to understand. But, understand this: South Pacific on Pacific Coast Highway is filled with lots of twists, turns, surprises, murders and one smart Private Detective named Mike Devlin who will stop at nothing to protect a friend and find out the truth. Told by Devlin himself in his own words we enter the world of corruption, a billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, dealers that threaten those that owe them and one sad secret that brings it all together. Find your way down on Coast Highway but make sure you watch your back, bring some protection or better yet call Mike Devlin.
Fran Lewis: reviewer