Shamus Award Nominated
THE OCEAN FOREST - MURDER IN MYRTLE BEACH
Frankie McKeller hates the beach. He has ever since that day on the one
they called Omaha. If the guy who saved his life during the war wasn’t getting
married he’d never have made the trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
As a low budget gum shoe out of Baltimore, he isn’t prepared for a
weekend of hobnobbing with the Southern elite. When a prominent wedding guest
is found with a bullet to the brain, the six week course he took in private
investigation proves lacking as well.
Who knew life on the Grand Strand could be so grand? In three days at
the beach he is seduced by a sultry debutante who used to be engaged to his
buddy, threatened by a controlling father and roughed up by a mysterious
henchman running muscle for the rich and privileged. Frankie is out of his
element at the exclusive Ocean Forest Hotel, snooping and stumbling his way
through his first ever murder case. The deeper he wades into the mystery the
more things keep pointing back to his best friend and he is forced to come face
to face with his own ghosts and demons.
Crooked land deals, secret alliances and forgotten family skeletons
cloud the truth in the land of sun, surf, golf and gators. Set in a budding
beach resort, still searching for an identity, he finds that nothing is as it seems
and his experience with following cheating husbands and wives offers little in
the way of aid. He’s looking for answers to questions some people don’t want
answered and his blend of jaded sarcasm with blunt Yankee machismo is leaving a
lot of ruffled feathers in his wake.
Torn between seeking the truth and protecting his friend, Frankie
slowly begins to uncover clues as he’s dragged deeper into an under tow of
deceit and corruption. Southern tradition meets old school mystery in this
twisting tale as rival families attempt to alter the course of what is destined
to become one of America’s top vacation destinations.
As the newly hired House Dick at the exclusive Ocean Forest
Hotel, Frankie McKeller is riding the gravy train all the way to the bank. The
former gumshoe never had it so easy. That is until Eleanor Highsmith strolls
into his life and convinces him to find her missing teenage daughter.
If that weren't enough, when the body of young black girl is
found raped and murdered on the beach, he is persuaded by a beautiful barmaid
to lend his less than stellar detective skills to finding the killer. Before he
knows it, Frankie is in over his head with the fates of a young girl and a
wrongly accused man resting on his shoulders.
Bootleg liquor, illegal gambling and teenage prostitution
aren't advertised in the tourist brochures but Frankie will have to wade
through the seedy side of Myrtle Beach if he's going to get the answers he's
looking for. Standing in his way are a couple of cut throat moonshine runners,
a stern sheriff with family ties to the dark side of the beach and a Good Ole
Boy system that doesn't take kindly to damn yankees who come down south and
The waters of truth are murky and Frankie is caught in
another undertow of deceit and corruption in this sequel to The Ocean Forest. A
taboo love affair that can never be, the mysterious past of a murdered care
giver and the fight to rescue two innocents before they are pulled into a life
of exploitation and despair weigh heavy as he struggles to solve the crime and
save the day.
With the dreaded Atlantic lurking nearby and in
his psyche, a constant reminder of that day on Omaha Beach, he will have to
exorcise his own demons if he is going to rise to the occasion and deliver
justice in a sleepy beach town still coming into its own. It's the ultimate
test for a low budget PI trying to battle back his own shortcomings and find
his place in the land of sun surf and sand.