Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Spotlight: Rip-Off by Mar Preston

High-tech burglary and murder are bad for business in the upscale, tourist-destination beach city of Santa Monica with its leftist politics, rich homeowners, and huge homeless population. Bad for Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department. 

A deadbeat burglar has been found in the upscale Santa Monica beach condo of a playboy studio exec. The dead body must link up with a string of high-tech burglaries, and the Chechens Mason keeps meeting must link up with each other somehow, but how? 

The investigation leads him down mean streets into the dark world of embezzlement and an explosion that almost kills him. The stakes rise as the investigation send Mason to the Hollywood Russian community where he is warned off by the FBI and Homeland Security. A bungled take down results in two murders of key informants. Fingers are pointed. Mason is outranked and the Department blamed.

While Mason brings an international whodunit to an end, restoring his own and the Department’s reputation, he finds his relationship with his community activist girlfriend teetering on the edge.


I grew up in northern Ontario and love its lakes and forests. But I lived in Santa Monica for decades watching big money, land development, and politics clash. 

Getting a good murder mystery novel out of what goes on behind the scenes in grassroots politics, glitzy businesses, and developer skullduggery makes all those dreary Santa Monica city council meetings worthwhile. 

I live now in a village in the California mountains not that far from the edge of the Los Angeles sprawl. There's too much to do here: I'm writing crime fiction seriously, but I can't get away from the SPCA, local environmental politics, and the writing community.  

Life is good.

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