Thrill-a-minute crime fiction—infused with wry humor
Restaurant owner and former professional baseball player Jake Longly is hoping for a few weeks of fun with Nicole Jamison in the warm Orange County, CA sun—The OC, baby. After that, they'll be on their way to LA for the filming of Nicole's sure-to-be-a-hit screenplay.
On arrival, they discover that Nicole's friend Megan Weatherly, a local TV reporter, has picked up an anonymous stalker. Megan downplays any real danger, but her new intern Abby, as well as Jake and Nicole, don't agree. Bit by bit, as the harassment escalates and the shadowy man invades Megan's world, Jake calls in the big guns from back home in Alabama: Ray and Pancake. But will Ray's military black ops experience and Pancake's technical skills be enough to expose the predator in time?
The stalker is no fool and likely has a predatory history. He makes no mistakes and manages to cover his trail completely. So, how do you identify and locate the untraceable? How do you protect Megan from a potentially lethal phantom?
Suddenly the sunshine and safety of The OC seem more facade than reality. Jake and crew must punch through that facade and dig into the dark world of celebrity stalking. The clock is ticking.
Perfect for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich
While all of the novels in the Jake Longly Thriller Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:
Edgar finalist Lyle's sparkling fifth Jake Longly thriller (after 2020's Rigged) takes the cheerful Alabama investigator, who describes himself as an "ex-pro baseball player, restaurant/bar owner, and lover of women," and the woman he loves, Nicole Jamison, to Orange County, Calif., to watch preparations for filming a screenplay by Nicole based on an actual Hollywood murder case. At a restaurant, they meet Nicole's TV newscaster friend, Megan Weatherly, who tells them she's been receiving disturbing emails from an anonymous fan. When the messages become more threatening and are accompanied by gifts such as a dozen dead roses, Jake and Nicole summon serious help first, their gargantuan, tech-savvy buddy Pancake Jeffers, then Jake's grimly serious PI father, Ray. The tension rises as it becomes clear the stalker is someone close to Megan who's eagerly looking forward to terrorizing, torturing, and killing her. There's little doubt, though, that Jake, Nicole, and company will catch the culprit before too much harm is done. Snappy patter lifts this bright look at a dark subject. Lyle should win new fans with this one. Agent: Kimberly Cameron, Kimberly Cameron & Assoc.