A seasoned detective knows that the best way to solve a crime is to follow the money trail, especially in a particular L.A. neighborhood where the rich float on top while the bottom feeders sink below. But we’re talking about Detective Finn O’Brien and he’s in the other L.A., the one with sun-streaked neighborhoods burning with robbery and drugs, and where kids duck for cover under a lullaby of gunfire.
Amber, his partner Cori’s daughter, bypasses her mother and asks Finn for help in finding her missing friend, twenty-two year old Pacal Acosta. Finn is conflicted about keeping a secret from his partner and challenged by the impossibility of trying to gather information to track an undocumented male immigrant.
When a number of missing young immigrant men are found murdered, Finn’s instincts kick in. There’s a serial killer on the loose targeting immigrants, and Amber’s involvement is spooking the killer which means she’s in danger too.
Friendship and trust are tested when Cori discovers the secret pact between Finn and Amber, and when she learns that her daughter loves the missing young man, her worldview gets turned upside down. Cori struggles to accept her daughter’s openness to this new blended world and is forced to confront her own prejudices.
The three work together to compare notes and scenarios. Who would kill immigrants and why? Could it be gang related? Maybe the work of Marbles, a member of the Hard Time Locos, not yet 18 but whose “evil is already old and deeply ingrained.” Ruling out money and drugs, the three of them follow, not the money trail, but the trail of blood and dead bodies.
Finn and Cori investigate possible killers, interview members of the ethnic community, and try to keep Amber safe, all the while dreading the unspoken possibility. What if Amber’s young man is the next dead body they find?
With multiculturalism quickly becoming the new normal, the fast-paced thriller Secret Relations is the novel for our times. Read it!
See you next time on June 22nd.
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