Police Detective John Bekker had it all: a beautiful wife, a five-year old daughter, and a job he loved. Assigned to a special task force investigating organized crime, Bekker got a little too close to mob boss Eddie Crist. As a message to back off, Bekker's home was invaded and his daughter witnessed the brutal murder of her mother. A decade later, Bekker is a drunk, living in a run-down trailer on the beach.
©2012 Al Lamanda (P)2014 Al Lamanda
Institutionalized since the age of five, Bekker's daughter hasn't spoken a word since her mother's death. Life appears bleak and hopeless. After a hard night of drinking, Bekker wakes up in an empty room, handcuffed to a bed. He's sick, hung over, and has no idea where he is. A doctor arrives and tells Bekker he will be supervising Bekker's going cold turkey off the booze. Several days of gut-wrenching agony pass during which time Bekker undergoes a complete detox. When it is over, he is weak, but sober, and still has no idea who is behind his newfound sobriety.
He finds out soon enough when he comes face to face with Eddie Crist, now near death from cancer. Crist swears innocence in Bekker's wife's murder and has a final wish - to go to his grave with a clear conscience. In an ironic twist of fate, the man Bekker believed responsible for his wife's death hires him to solve the decade-old murder. The outcome leaves everyone, including the listener, breathless. Nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of 2012.