by Mike Nemeth
GENRE: Romantic Mystery
Framed by cops and chased by crooks, a white ex-con and a rebellious black woman become fugitives. They didn’t plan to fall in love.
After serving time for a crime he didn’t commit, Parker and his wife, Paula, hide from an old enemy in an Atlanta suburb. Their fresh start is disrupted when his new boss demands his involvement in a fraudulent scheme that will replace thousands of white collar American workers with artificial intelligence and offshore labor. Parker unfortunately suspects his secret and elusive birth father is mixed up in the fraud. Then a body is pulled from the Chattahoochee River and Parker believes Paula has murdered his enemy, but the police think Parker did it. He and his brilliant colleague, Sabrina, a woman who can trace her roots to Virginia slaves, steal the “smoking gun” that will expose the fraud and go on the run, pursued by cops and crooks. After a violent showdown in a frightening New Orleans cemetery, they connect the dots between a murder, fraud, and a man from his mother’s past. Parker’s loyalties are torn, but he must choose.
Enjoy an Excerpt:
“Does she have a tattoo on her right butt cheek? Monarch butterfly?”
The guy looked nonplussed. “I didn’t do the examination.”
At the head of the gurney, Parker stooped to inspect her sallow complexion, a deception to catch the attendant off-guard. Without warning, Parker yanked the sheet down, exposing her upper body to the waist.
“What the hell?” the attendant screamed. He tried to pull the sheet up, but Parker held it fast.
A bruise on this body’s ribcage and many abrasions were visible, but the wounds that caught Parker’s attention were a small red hole on her right arm, near the shoulder joint, and a rupture the size of a silver dollar on the back of the arm. Three inches of elastic skin and fatty tissue remained connected on the side of her arm, creating a tunnel through which a bullet had traveled.
Facially, this woman looked like Meredith, but none of her wounds obscured her identifying characteristic: A-cup breasts on a chest the color of Elmer’s glue. Without makeup, nail polish, gaudy jewelry, and flashy clothes, Meredith’s excessively augmented breasts and deep tan would still have identified her.
Drawn to the commotion, Cole came through the door and stopped at the foot of the gurney. For a moment, the kid stared at the incongruous vision of a half-naked body, then his shoulders slumped, and his eyelids drooped, betraying his loss of innocence.
“This isn’t Meredith Walker,” Parker told the attendant. “This is her sister, Grace.”
About the Author:
Mike Nemeth, a Vietnam veteran and former high-tech executive, writes love stories tucked inside murder mysteries highlighting America’s social issues. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Southern Fiction and the Frank Yerby Prize at the Augusta Literary Festival. The novel inspired singer/songwriter Mark Currey to compose the song Who I am. PARKER’S CHOICE won a Firebird Award for thrillers and American Fiction Awards for Diverse and Multicultural Mystery/Suspense, and for Romantic Mystery/Suspense. Other credits include The New York Times, Georgia Magazine, Augusta Magazine, Southern Writers’ Magazine, and Deep South Magazine. In 2018, I was named Atlanta’s Best Local Author by Creative Loafing magazine. Mike lives in Villa Rica with his wife, Angie, and their rescue dog, Scout.
Q&A With the Author
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Kathryn Stockett (The Help) said we should write about what disturbs us, particularly if it bothers no one else. It disturbs me that we accept law enforcement and the judicial system as infallible purveyors of justice. In my mind it is incredibly easy for these institutions to get it wrong and incredibly scary to be caught in the system's grinding machinery. I also wonder if politicians and the media don't oversimplify racism. I wanted to explore the reactions of an unbiased white person when confronted by subtle racism.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? I learned a lot from my characters as they navigated their circumstances but what I enjoyed most was the plotting, the bringing two storylines together in a clever but logical way to create an upbeat conclusion. I'm a big fan of Chinatown, the movie considered by some to have the perfect plot and I wanted to emulate it.
Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about? After writing four romantic murder mysteries, I'm now writing a young adult historical fiction story for the first time. I read a lot of historical fiction and thought I'd try my hand at it. This book is a prequel to a previously published book - The Two Lives of Eddie Kovacs - and I wanted to see what youthful forces forged his character. It's called A Tissue of Lies. Watch for it next year.
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future? I write every day so there will be more books. I have an idea for a book about prosecutorial misbehavior.
Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans? Writers are grateful to every reader who takes the time to read our work. Every review is treasured.
Social Media Links:
X (Twitter): @nemosnovels
Buy Link (PARKER’S CHOICE):
Mike Nemeth will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.