East Beach

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9780671872816: East Beach

In the sequel to Night Shadows, Jake Sands, the fortysomething retiree from the high-action life, reluctantly takes on the ruthless king of the beach after his favorite waitress is found murdered. 12,500 first printing.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Introduced in Night Shadows, Jake Sands is a cynical, scarred Vietnam veteran in his mid 40s, still grieving for his wife, son and unborn baby, victims of a killer whose real target had been himself. Although he had determined to do no more investigating, the superbly athletic Santa Barbara resident can't resist probing the beating murder of a friendly beach bunny/waitress named Julie. Eventually he connects her death to a winning ticket in the California lottery, with a $40-million prize gone unclaimed until a lawyer representing a five-man betting syndicate steps forward. The search for Julie's killer draws Jake, who holds Gingrichian views of the criminal justice system, into games of strenuous beach volleyball with a ruthless and domineering Australian and two other extraordinary athletes. After more murders, including those of three lottery syndicate members, a burst of vigilantism ends this contrived tale that dwells too long on Jake's tragedy and the impoverished beach culture. Ely, a former actor, writes authoritatively, but his talents aren't fully displayed in Jake.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Jake Sands, the grieving, coffee-swilling ex-sleuth introduced in Ely's skillful debut novel, Night Shadows , is again drawn into the investigation of a brutal murder, this time of a favorite waitress. A missing lottery ticket worth $40 million may supply a terrific motive, but suspects are nevertheless scarce. The few clues lead to Santa Barbara's intensely competitive beach volleyball scene, and Jake pursues them at considerable risk, as evidenced by a rapidly rising body count. Ely has few peers in constructing an intricate, tightly woven, rapidly paced plot, which is surely the essence of the successful mystery. The only clutter in his latest effort is the occasional lecture on the failures of the soft-on-crime justice system or the tax-and-spend government. Many readers will hope for less pontificating in the author's next book, but they will be anxious for its appearance. Dennis Dodge

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Ron Ely
Published by Simon & Schuster (1995)
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