New from Down & Out Books …
THE GRAY DETECTIVE: THREE CRIME NOVELLAS by Stephen Burdick
Publication Date: April 25, 2022
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Synopsis … Homicide detective Joe Hampton and his wife, Joyce, had planned to move to Clearwater Beach, Florida, once he retired from the Philadelphia Police Department. After Joyce unexpectedly passes away, Joe goes ahead with the move. Once he’s settled into the Crimson Conch condominiums, his hopes of starting over are realized—until a series of murders upends his plans for a peaceful retirement.
The Gray Detective begins with Joe discovering a body in the channel behind the condominiums after a night of Bingo. When Detectives Carly Truffant and David Sizemore arrive to investigate, Joe gives his account of the discovery. Joe is summoned to the police station days later at the request of prime suspect, Gary Burgess, the condo maintenance man. Burgess admits to having sexual encounters with the victim and other female residents and begs Joe for help. Joe’s curiosity pushes him to investigate the matter, prompting Truffant to order him not to interfere. After finding Burgess dead by the condo pool after his release, and later learning of another murder, Joe uncovers a secret circle comprised of residents. Their purpose is not only illegal but deadly.
Dark Arrival finds Joe acquiring the position of building manager and meeting Victoria Combes, a tough-talking, no-nonsense woman looking for a condo in the Crimson Conch. Still missing his wife, he finds comfort in their friendship though her manner is gruff. When a pair of residents are murdered, Joe encounters Truffant and Sizemore once more. Joe’s exemplary career as a homicide detective persuades them to enlist his services. The arrival of Victoria’s daughter provides Joe with a welcome diversion from the difficult investigation. Another murder occurs leading Truffant and Sizemore to conclude that a connection to the other murders exists. What isn’t apparent is how close Joe is to the killer.
Deadly Separation has Truffant struggling with a divorce and Joe agreeing to help her. Trouble arrives when Sizemore calls and tells Joe that Truffant’s soon to be ex-husband has been found dead in a Dunedin townhouse. And worse, Truffant is considered the leading suspect. Truffant’s troubles worsen when a woman is murdered and evidence proves she had an affair with her husband. Joe gets sidetracked by the arrival of his former neighbors from Philadelphia. When both are murdered, a man named Rogan Cavanaugh enters the picture. Joe discovers that Cavanaugh could be involved in the murder of his friends—plus the death of Truffant’s husband’s lover—and the mind game between the two begins.