Combustion

Combustion

by Martin J. Smith

"A page-turner with a kicker at the end—you can’t ask for anything better. Intricately plotted and full of character, this one is a great ride that burns with the intensity of a California wildfire."—Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestseller

The dry season has hit the Inland Empire of California, depleting the ponds and revealing the muddy grave of Paul Dwyer. From his mansion on the hill, Dwyer lorded over Los Colmas, a small town that he aspired to make big by building mansions for wealthy LA commuters. Some viewed him as a savior, providing construction jobs for locals. Others believed he was ruining their beautiful, close-knit town. But who was angry enough to murder him?

Local cop Ron Starke is overwhelmed by the list of suspects and plagued by a difficult captain who is demanding results. Starke investigates Paul Dwyer's dirty money and handshake deals gone wrong, but the name at the top of the suspect list is the most intriguing, and chilling.

The developer wasn't the only one with secrets; his widow Shelby has kept her own for decades, none more harrowing than the horrific abuse she and her daughter endured at the hands of Dwyer.  And none more volatile than what she knows but must hide about Paul's murder.

As the season’s wildfires intensify to historic levels and surge towards Los Colmas, Starke must discover who killed Dwyer before all the evidence burnsand the whole town is erased.

"Combustion is exactly what I love in a mystery—fast as a bullet and bristling with suspense. Part Hitchcock, part 'Law and Order,' all terrific."—T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Room of White Fire

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