Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Carlyle Clark Presents Children from Dark Houses - Meet Fantastic, Funny PI Investigative Team!

The trouble with troubled youths is that, despite guards and fences shrouded with red-berried firethorn and topped with inward-pointing surveillance cameras, they are adept at vacating authoritarian premises without the permission of said authority. One such youth, Imran Khan, had recently, under cover of night, adepted himself clean out of San Diego’s Barrington Academy. Imran’s parents hired Wynn and Sanchez Investigations to find him. 
As he drove his silver 2010 Mustang GT into Barrington’s parking lot, Private Investigator Atticus Wynn wondered if it wasn’t just good sense that led the boy to flee. After all, Imran’s fellow students had committed such delightful acts as dousing blind-drunk homeless men with odorless charcoal lighter fluid then offering them a cigar and a match, torturing small animals, and posting videos on the Internet of themselves sexually assaulting incapacitated girls. Of course, Imran himself was no angel. His parents had brought him to the academy after his fists sent his mother to the hospital. Like the other boys at Barrington, Imran’s parents’ wealth had allowed him to sidestep the juvenile justice system and continue his education at the expensive reformatory-style boarding school. 
Atticus parked his car, clambered out, and stretched. Had he still been a smoker, this would have been the perfect opportunity to lean against his muscle car, taking long drags while surveying the laboriously landscaped grounds. Rolling his neck, he noticed his hand had curled as though it held a cigarette. He opened and closed it a few times, pondering. A cigarette and a swagger would notify any ne’er-do-wells that Atticus himself had once been a rascal. He’d be interviewing some of them, and it might make them more likely to talk if they felt they weren’t selling out by helping The Man. It wasn’t as if he’d be making an excuse to sneak in a little tobacco. Nope. Not at all. He grinned ruefully. Even without a cigarette jutting from a sneering mouth, Atticus could have still looked cool as hell had he been allowed to pack his new .45 in the complicated-looking shoulder holster his girlfriend and partner, Rosemary, had bought him because it was sexy. Having a muscular, black PI strut into their midst with a big gun holstered under his arm might be like having an ultra-violent video game character come to life. Grand Theft Atticus: San Diego Swagger. 
Unfortunately, Atticus had been forbidden to bring his gun per academy rules and the admonishment of school chancellor and no-gun meanie, Dr. Everton Ingalls.

Children from Dark Houses:
An Atticus and Rosemary Mystery Thriller

By Carlyle Clark

It didn't take me long to sink into the fun of reading this book, even though the topic of trouble youths and dysfunctional homes gives us the darkness from the title.

Nor did it take long to think of who I would have play Atticus... If you're a Rush Hour fan like I am, you'll recognize Justin Hires..... But for a writing style, since this is my first book from Carlyle Clark,  I felt some connection to top author Walter Mosley's, PI Investigator, Easy Rawlins... He and Atticus would sure get along! LOL

Atticus and Rosemary are in business together, but are also lovers, which adds a bit of spice and loving feelings as each can often be found worrying about the other when the job has called for them to separate...

And this one certainly did. Not only were they tracking a young boy who had escaped from an "academy" for rich, troubled kids, but they soon found that the parents were truly the troubled ones! The Khans were constantly fighting and the wife was an alcoholic who abused Imran. When he retaliated and attacked his mother, he was immediately sent to Barringon Academy.

Then when he escaped in less than a week and the Academy contacted the police, Mr. Khan practically went crazy...and then hired the PIs to handle the search...

“Practically. Mr. Khan was furious with me for contacting the authorities. He made up some nonsensical story about having picked up Imran himself. He claimed if I made a fuss, I would only be hurting myself and the academy by pointing out our, as he called it, lax security. He ended the call saying he was going to contact the police and ‘clear the whole thing up.’ “Ten minutes later, he called back. He was completely calm and rational. It was like dealing with two utterly different people. We discussed what to do outside of law enforcement, and I recommended he hire the agency the academy always uses, FitzHerbert. He opted for your firm instead.” “Do you have any idea why he was so adamant the police not get involved?” The chancellor shrugged. “Nothing specific, no, but it didn’t surprise me. Mr. Khan had not wanted the police notified when Imran had assaulted Mrs. Khan, but the mandatory reporting laws required the hospital to contact the authorities.” He shrugged. “People from less developed countries generally fear and distrust police.”

And that's when the fun began... After Atticus had talked with
the Chancellor, he knew that the man would expect to be involved with all interviews...which wasn't going to Atticus went...rogue...and did, indeed find out information that would benefit their search...

Only to be followed when he finished at the Academy. Who would be following him this early in the investigation? It was time to get Rosemary involved, calling her to meet him...

Rosemary Sanchez’s phone rang, or to be more accurate, warbled into song. Specifically, Muddy Waters famous blues tune “Mannish Boy,” which she had not programmed into it. It started at the part that refers to the singer’s destiny to become “the greatest man alive.” She snorted. That Atticus. 
Clad in jeans and a gray T-shirt that read ARMY across the front, she’d been in the midst of her daily bed-making duel with her nemesis, her tortoiseshell cat Mawroo, who with feline telepathy, always anticipated the moment she began to make her bed. As the sheet came billowing down, Mawroo leapt onto the mattress. The cat-hump raced around beneath the sheet like a gopher in a cartoon, all the while uttering her namesake cry, “Maaaaawrooooo!” Rosemary could only answer such an affront to bed-making etiquette by scrabbling her fingers about so that the hump raced hither and thither after them, sometimes rolling over to create four paw tent poles, claws poking through the sheet. 
Rosemary answered the phone while, in protest at the interruption, Mawroo “mawrooed”!
“Let me guess,” Rosemary said. “You made one too many smartass remarks, and now we’re barred from Barrington.”
“Scoff, scoff,” Atticus said. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked. 
“I wanted to scoff at your lack of faith, but I’ve only read about people scoffing and never actually seen it. Thus, I don’t know how one would actually go about scoffing in real life. So I improvised.”
“I don’t know whether it’s more disturbing to think you’ve been pondering that for a while or that you just thought it up.”
“Either someone’s playing a violin with a meat tenderizer,” he said, “or you are foolishly trying to make your bed with Mawroo in the room.”
“I don’t have a choice,” Rosemary said. “She sulks all day if I shut her out.”
“How can one tell if a cat is sulking or just being a cat?”
“When one loves another being and is in a close relationship, one pays attention and thus becomes quite attuned to the being’s sensibilities.”
“Are we still talking about a cat here?” Atticus asked. 
“Meow,” Rosemary answered.
“Um, er, normally, I’d be game for the metaphorical banter, but I happen to have a gentleman tailing me. I’m hoping you can come out here and tail my tailer.” Rosemary’s tone switched from banter to business. “Already someone following you? Feel dangerous?”
“Can’t tell,” he said, “but it’s hard to see what I could have done so quickly to make someone want to hurt me.”
“You’ve never been on the other side of your smart mouth.”
 “Anyway,” he said, “once you’ve got him, I’ll lose him.”
“And I’ll follow him back to his criminal lair.” 
“Criminal lair?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said. “Any criminal associated with Barrington Academy wouldn’t have anything as uncouth as a hideout. He would merit a lair.”
“Brains as well as beauty,” he said. “Brains enough that once this ne’er do well is ensconced in his lair, you wouldn’t dream of doing something as stupid as trying to get a real good looksee before you’ve called your charming partner in for back up, right?”
 “You do recall I’ve done a tour of duty in a war zone?”

Whoa! Would you believe there will soon be bikers coming into the mix...and Rosemary does exactly what Atticus had warned her not to do...she went into the biker's lair and confronted the leader! Gutsy, but she barely made it out!

Later there's one awesome scene where Imran's mother takes on one of the bikers!

Then there are the main characters who just happen to be involved with Imran's efforts to escape... Yep, it's going to get real complicated and Atticus and Rosemary are separated often...and wind up in dangerous situations with no backup!

You've got to read this one to believe how cool everything keeps going even when things look realllly bad! I loved the complexity of the story line and think that many of you will too! Do check it out!


Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer's requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.

He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.

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