Friday, December 26, 2014

In the Spotlight: Shadows in the Fog by Greg Messel

Title: Shadows in the Fog
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

The story begins on a stormy morning in February of 1959. The front page of the morning paper is dominated by news of the plane crash which killed rock ’n roll stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. 
Private Eye Sam Slater is hired to perform what he thinks is a routine two-day job as a favor for a friend. However, it all goes terribly wrong when a young San Francisco policeman is gunned down while sitting in a parked car with Sam. 
The murder sets off a chain of events which will pull Sam and his wife and partner, Amelia, into a dangerous web of intrigue in the dark, shadowy alleys and back rooms of San Francisco’s Chinatown
In the winter of 1959, Amelia resigns as a TWA stewardess and is now Sam’s full time partner in the private eye business. 
Sam and Amelia inadvertently come in conflict with the San Francisco mob boss after helping a crusading newspaper reporter who is working to expose corruption in Chinatown. Now a mysterious dark car follows the Slaters every where they go. Sam and Amelia discover a hidden world of corrupt cops, gambling parlors, brothels and human trafficking exists right under their noses. 
At the same time, a rising California politician hires Sam and Amelia to find his daughter who disappeared without a trace three years earlier. The search is prompted by the sudden appearance of a letter from the woman, who was presumed dead. 
As Sam and Amelia pursue these cases, they discover that all the clues lead them back to Chinatown. The Slaters want to avoid taking on the San Francisco crime lords head-on. However, when Amelia is kidnapped in an alley during the Chinese New Year’s celebration, Sam plunges himself into danger desperately searching Chinatown to find her before it’s too late. 
The reader will be drawn into fast moving events which culminate in a harrowing conclusion as Sam Slater races against the clock on a foggy night in Chinatown.
“Shadows In The Fog” is the fifth book in the the award winning Sam Slater Mysteries Series but is a stand-alone thriller in the tradition of great whodunits.
Book Excerpt:

The heavy blanket of clouds that had hung on the city all day was especially thick in the Ocean Beach area near Playland. It felt like rain.
When Amelia arrived at her car, which she had parked in a side lot by the Funhouse, she opened the door before removing her trench coat and tossing it on the front seat. She had been overdressed in Cassandra’s parlor, leaving on her coat over her gray wool dress.
As she stood by her car, a slow moving large blue car caught her eye. She froze. There were two lines of parked cars in the lot.  Amelia noticed that the driver of the car seemed to be watching her as he slowly drove through the parking lot. 
She watched the man suspiciously and wondered if he might be looking for a parking spot. Maybe the man in the blue car was waiting for her to vacate her spot. Amelia continue to watch him and thought if he tried something she could always turn and run into the Funhouse.
The large blue car then stopped as it entered the row where Amelia was parked. 
Amelia leaned in to place her purse on the seat and thought of taking the handgun out of her purse. It was then that the blue car suddenly accelerated and then slammed on it’s brakes with a screech right behind Amelia’s car. 
Amelia had been concentrating on the slow-moving car and never saw the second man rapidly approaching her from behind.  The assailant put a black hood over Amelia’s head and grabbed her arm, painfully twisting it behind her before pushing her into the back seat of the blue car. The swiftness of the attack was so unexpected that Amelia had no chance to cry out before she felt herself being held down on the back seat by the large powerful man.
She heard the car door slam. “Let’s get outta here!” the man said to his partner and the car began to drive away.

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