Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Spotlight: Iquitos by John R. Beyer

353 pp.
 $15.49 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle)


Author: John R. Beyer

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Pages: 353

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancée, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.




Peters grinned at the slightly older man standing on the second step of the
entrance to the brick building while reaching out his right hand. “Thanks for
the help on the case.”
Frank Sanders shook his head. “I should be the one saying
‘thank you’ a few times, as many cases you’ve helped me on.”
“How’s business, seriously?” Jonas asked.
good, Jonas. Some cases really make me some money, and some just pay the bills.
Sure, I miss the days when you and I would bump into each other at the
department on a juicy murder or burglary, but those days are gone. Retirement
pay isn’t substantial, but this gig gives me plenty of traveling money.”
The two men had spent the previous forty minutes in Frank’s
office on the second floor of the Wright building just northwest of the Mission
Inn in downtown Riverside, California.
They had been going over the final paperwork on a joint case they had been
working on together, albeit somewhat apart.
Frank had gone from a crimes-against-persons detective to
private detective when he retired from the Riverside Police Department. Jonas
Peters had gone from homicide detective to falling into a bottle of Jack
Daniels and then re-surfacing to finish a case which cost him a dear friend,
along with many innocents. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending, with the
killing of Zachary Marshall, the psychopath who had started it all. It should
have meant the release of the demons Jonas had felt for so many years, but
instead, it just reinforced the negativity of the world in which he had lived
for so long. He wanted out, but did not know how to exit.
Jonas had turned in his badge for the Riverside Police
Department where he worked, and moved to Scottsdale,
Arizona, believing his life might take a
one-eighty. It hadn’t. Jonas eventually found himself on a pension, living on
twenty acres of desert near a small town named Phelan in Southern California
and working a few cases here and there as a private detective. Not a glamorous
job but one, like Frank had responded, that helped make the financial side of
life a bit more comfortable.
Jonas also liked the solitude of the High
Desert. Seemed fewer ghosts circled
He also liked to cry where no one would see him.
“How’s your life really going?” Frank asked while stepping
down a step and looking his friend squarely in the eyes.
Frank had known Jonas for over two decades while working at
the Riverside City Police Department but had never gotten to know the man very
well. Jonas had always been friendly enough, but to dig into his personal
history was not a door a fellow officer ever tried to venture through.
Jonas had always been somewhat aloof. Not aloof like a
head-in-the-sky sort of fellow but one who always questioned himself and thus
never allowed anyone from the outside to look inside.
“Actually, Frank,” Jonas stated. “Things are looking up for
me recently. The cases I take are ones that I want, and the ones I don’t, I
Frank nodded his rather large square head. “Any women?”
Jonas smiled. “There was in Scottsdale
for a while. A great lady by the name of Samantha—I called her Sam—and we hit
if off well after I retired from the force. You know, after Steve’s murder, I
just had to get out of here, but after a year or so I needed to come back. This
is where I grew up and all I really know.”
“You know, John Steinbeck wrote that you can never truly go
“Yeah, well, he was right. That’s why I live out in the
boonies in Phelan. Just me and my three dogs.”
Frank grinned. “I like dogs.”
“You have any?”
“Nope, I’m just gone too much to feel like it would be fair
to them.”
“That makes sense.”
“What happened to Sam?”
Jonas shifted his weight from the left to the right. “She
could sense I wanted to move back near here, and we sort of went our own ways.
We reconnected a few months back—you know, sort of a long-distance affair with
texts, phone calls, and the like. She called me the other week to let me know
she would be in Riverside on
business. It coincided with my meeting with you.”
“Serendipitous, I would say.” Frank clapped Jonas on the
shoulder while giving him a wink.
Jonas smiled in return. “Yes, we’ve spent the last couple of
days together, and things were just like they were. We may even try the
relationship again—even if it means some traveling for both of us for now. I
truly love that woman, Frank.”
“And I’m sure she feels the same way about you.”
“I hope so,” Jonas said. “Well, I gotta get going. I promised
to meet her at the Common Grounds in a few minutes. Thanks for helping me on
the case.”
“And vice versa.” Frank held out his hand and shook his
friend’s. “Go and enjoy your cup of coffee.”
I hope she does love you, Jonas—you could use it.

John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).

He won the ‘Write Well Award’ in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer’s Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

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Twitter Address: @Drjohnrbeyer

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