Dead Gold by Hawk MacKinney
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The dazzling lure of Olympic gold fame is a spotlight glare hotter than any fifteen minutes of fame.
During plans for a cross-country ski vacation, Aspen Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Detective David “Spinner” Krespinak and SEAL-bud Craige Ingram are ensnared by glamour, upmarket glitz and bling, and greed in the deadly champagne powder world of a money-gets-you-anything high-country ski-mecca. Body parts start turning up in the most unlikely places. As the two friends start their investigation, A hornets nest of the local elite do not want the publicity. For good reason it seems, they may be part of the mystery of bodies and body parts piling up at the morgue.
The closer they get to the killer the more confused they become. Who is behind the murders and mutilation? The list of suspects grows as they close the net on the killer.
The tender underbelly of Aspen is not what it seems. It is a raw open sore that oozes blood, drugs, and murder.
Spinner staggered the clutch and gear-shift. Kept his foot off the brakes as his vehicle slewed in the razor-edged chunky refreeze of the deep off-road ruts until coming to a stop. Killed the motor, and set the hand brake. Gusts of wind sliced at a square jaw on his devil-may-care rugged face as he climbed out and turned up the collar on his sheepskin coat. Big thick champagne-powder snowflakes clung for a moment to dust his dark hair, and just as quick blew-gone in the capricious strong up-slope drafts. He ducked under the fluttering yellow plastic ribbon with its black letters: POLICE LINE—DO NOT CROSS.
The charred black remains of the older model sedan slumped in a sooted blotched circle surrounded by undulating pristine white and candlestick-caked trees. It spoke loud and clear to Spinner—the burn had continued for some time after the storm. Wheel rims, frame, heat-crazed windows were still smoldering from hood to trunk.
As he walked toward her, salt-and-pepper-haired Pitkin County Medical Examiner-Coroner Candelaria Lopez didn’t have to look up. She knew the cadence of Spinner’s footsteps. “Looks like we have us a bungled hurried torch job.”
WOW! This book was full of excitement! I really enjoyed reading this book. Lots of twists and turns and I was forever second-guessing the who-dun-it. The characters were well developed and I was able to picture them in my mind quite easily. I loved that the story took place in a ski resort area, as it added a nice backdrop. Having lived in a ski resort area for a number of years, I was able to relate with the 'residents' very well.
If you love a good mystery with a hint of thriller to it, this is definitely a good fit for you.
Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.
In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. His titles are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series—murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Hidden Chamber of Death, the first book in the mystery series, was followed by Book 2, Westobou Gold and his latest, Book 3, Curse of the Ancients. All have received national attention. The Bleikovat Event was Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets. Vol III, Inanna Phantom is in final galleys.
Q & A With The Author
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I was on a Rocky Mountain ski vacation in Aspen that included some of our military and university group, enjoying plumes of downhill sunburn-blue skies and champagne powder when the pristine white got splashed with blood spots and blood sports. Frenzied headlines and media stories told of a documented killing by the notorious wife of a famous celebrity, a wild-living hard-partying womanizing Olympic skier chasing gold and a permanent spotlight along with underhanded goings-on. No one went to jail…skin games and money and payoffs, and all the inspirations in the cesspool fell into my lap and onto the keyboard. A few days of skiing got skipped while this writer put it to hardcopy. Luved it!
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Terri. She appears in Book 1, Hidden Chamber of Death in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. She is the love interest of my main protagonist Craige Ingram, former Navy SEAL who is now a part-time private investigator. Terri is a strong woman and she has strong instincts, especially when it comes to dealing with Craige.
Who is your least favorite character in your book and why?
That question has been posed before. It’s impossible to answer. Each character is a composite of the guilty, the nosey, the incompetent, the lazy. They are the heroes and the scoundrels. In the melee they twist the plot, their lives, and the readers who try to outwit the author. We birth our characters; we luv ‘em all.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
During the one-liner prelim outlines most all characters are there or lurking in the shadows. In sprawling the plot/setting some get combined. Some get done-in. Some end up from page 1 already with rigor mortis…or in a cooler to delay/extend it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Terri…the serial protagonist Craige Ingram’s longtime favorite. Do? Skinny dip in one of his lakes, horseback rides across fields with no fences; sip wine, sit in the swing, listen to good music that doesn’t crash and bang, and enjoy the peaceful quiet that is Moccasin Hollow…it’s a place that really exists.
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