Rip-Off

Description

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.

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About the Author

Author Name : Mar Preston

      I spent years reading Chechen websites, histories, political debates, and newspapers to write the background for Rip-Off. I am so White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant that Chechnya is endlessly fascinating to me. I have deep sympathy for this small country beset by invaders for centuries. The characters I've imagined here are Chechnya's dark side. People do what they need to do to survive here. Would we be so different? I grew up in northern Ontario and love its lakes and forests. I'm still a Canadian citizen, though I've lived in California a long time. California winters are just too seductive. I was an activist and organizer in Santa Monica. 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 resist the SPCA, local politics, and the writing community. Life is good. If you like Rip-Off, check out my first Dave Mason novel titled No Dice

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