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The Ocean Park Mystery Series Begins

All Detective Matt Conley ever wanted was to raise a family in Ocean Park with his stunning and ambitious wife Lisa. When a corpse is found in his church, Matt begins a journey that reveals corruption and decay in his city and deceit in his marriage. As he searches for the murderer of a local businessman, a gang war erupts for control of the city’s drug trade, and the body count rises. With his reluctant new partner, Detective Lloyd Kendricks, Matt weaves his way through the puzzling connections between street gangs, politicians, bikers, and a private kink club.

Will their unlikely alliance be enough to return Matt's beloved hometown to its halcyon days? And will he find the faith he needs to rebuild his crumbling marriage?

Excerpt – Ocean Park

          “The church is closing, you know. Heartbreaking for the parishioners, what’s left of them anyway. Cardinal’s trying to convince us to combine with St. Margaret’s over on the west side. Never happen.”

          She turned to the altar, aimed quickly, and snapped a single picture.

          “I heard.”

          “We’re hoping the Archdiocese reconsiders, what with the history and beauty you’ve just seen. I hope you include that in your story. Subtly, of course. No quotes or anything.”

          “Which one’s the Madonna?ˮ

          He bowed his head, raised an arm weakly, and started toward the side altar. She passed him and stopped. He caught up.

          “Would you like to light a candle, Ms. Feldman?”

          She stared down at the bank of votive glasses, most of them empty, glass blackened, burnt wicks lying on the bottom. Two contained lit candles, one flickering, threatened by the liquid pool of wax it created. She drew a long taper from a holder, caught flame from the weak candle, and lit a fresh one.

          He searched his pocket for change and found none. He placed his empty closed fist on the coin slot of the offertory can and shook the whole thing. The change inside rattled.

          “Father, tell me about the miracle.”

          “Pardon?”

          She looked up at the statue. “When Victor Rodriguez’s body was found, the statue was crying.”

          “Who told you that, Ms. Feldman?”

          “I heard the tears were red, like blood.”