Friday, March 2, 2018

Amateur Detective Jake Vincent Not Ready for Retirement!

Deadfall Lake - Mt. Shasta
My name is Jake Vincent. After a hectic, thirty-five years of traveling around the world on business, I was finally retired. My wife and I built our retirement home among the tall conifer forest in a small mountain resort town in Northern California. I swore never to go near another airport...ever! Well, maybe not that long.

I looked forward to doing nothing but reading, writing about
some of my travel experiences, playing golf, and exploring the mountain back roads on my 2003 Vespa motor scooter. Barb and I could have those leisurely chats about all the this-and=that of our lives without interrupting phone calls and faxes...For all of these fifty-three years, my loving wife has remained the quiet and calm port in the storms that hit all marriages...

My business occupation had involved security risk analysis of large industrial facilities, military sites, US embassies, nuclear sites, intelligence-gathering branches of our government, and other sites prone to intrusion attacks by the nasty criminals of the world. I did a bit at protecting mankind from the bad guys. I pondered my new life, and was fully aware of the stark change. Was I really ready to let go of what was a unique, fun, and exciting time of traveling the world?

Mystery at Deadfall Lake

By Terry McGhee

As a senior citizen who retired, moved into a log cabin, and never stopped "working" (yes, writing reviews is work, even though it's fun for me), I was immediately drawn to the main character, Jake Vincent, who, after building a cabin in the woods of the Klamath Mountains of Northern California and

settled in, it wasn't long before the couple began to wonder...just what do you do when retired?

Jake had just got done reading the local newspaper--the second time--cover to cover, but when Barb put down her book, she saw a short story that Jake had the "blast from the past" section...They read about a cold case from 17 years ago when a young couple went on a hike and was never heard from again. The key part of the article was that the reporter asked if anyone had any current information that might justify re-opening the case. It was Barb that suggested that he dig into the mystery from so long ago. Before it was over, they both might have regretted that day they chose to get involved...

As I put the key in the ignition, I
checked the rearview mirror and
noticed an old pickup truck, painted
with a gray primer, parked about a
half block down the street. It hadn't
been there when I arrived. There
was a guy  in the driver's seat with
a baseball cap pulled low over his
eyes, and he was definitely looking
my way...The truck was pulling out
into the street. The truck drove past
my jeep slowly, the driver giving a
hard stare in my direction. His cap
prevented me from really seeing
any facial features. Was my
imagination running wild?...
I shook my head as if to rid my
thoughts about a mysterious spy
tailing me...
Revitalized almost immediately, Jake first went to the town police station. Inspector Hannity  Inspector, knowing he was retired, immediate asked why he would be asking about the cold case; but after Jake presented his work credentials--and admitted he was bored--the officer agreed to share the case!

Basically, there wasn't anything in the file other than that the couple seemed normal--hadn't been in trouble in any way and their grades were above average... Wendy's mother still lived in town so Jack had his first step determined after he talked further with the Inspector.  Once he got as much information from him, and got approval to proceed, Jack immediately proceeded... He had already been hooked from the time he had read the article!
But after just a few contacts, Jake noticed there might be somebody following him!

Fortunately, there were three of Wendy's classmates still in town and were happy to help if they could... and learned of at least one possible villain--Al Jerkovick! Quite a name for a villain, right? LOL

And they had seen the old gray pickup truck around town but did not know who drove it...

And it was after the meeting with them that Jake's vehicle was damaged--the front windows had been broken out and now covered the seats!

After discovering that Jerkovick was in prison and soon up for parole, Hannity and Jake were soon working with the local police there to bring them up to date of his possible connection to the cold case... The investigation continued on with normal police procedural interviews, but as more and more was discovered, the FBI was soon involved...

Jake was now thinking it was a good thing since he'd been growing more and more concerned and overwhelmed...
All of a sudden, I heard a loud bang! The picture window shattered with sharp shards of glass showering me and my desk. “Holy shit!” I yelled as I swiveled my chair and hit the floor next to the desk. Wham! My forehead banged against the edge of the desk and I saw stars for a split second. I reached up and felt blood. I crawled around the side of the desk for cover. A nasty bump was growing on my throbbing forehead. I looked up at the shattered window and then the opposite wall. High up near the ceiling I saw what my brain was telling me. There was a neat bullet hole in the wall about six inches from the ceiling of my office. 
This is the first amateur detective (cozy mystery) in which the amateur looked realistically into what was being found and knew that it was now a police case... I appreciated that since some of the books in the genre have the detective walking into some really dangerous situations. I also appreciated how the civilian investigator was molded gracefully into the ongoing case followup. I am sure he was permitted to continue to a great extent because of his former government activities, but the relationship with the police was respectful and considerate, while ensuring that Jake's personal attacks which had continued were stopped and he was safe...

And, then, Jake would have an idea, go off on his own...well, he wasn't totally willing to give up on "his" case...

The book is steady, intriguing, as people became involved and clues were identified. It's a solid cold case murder mystery that keeps readers interested through to the end...But Jake and Barb? They were both ready for that vacation away from it all! If you enjoy cozy/amateur detective mysteries, I think you'll happily follow Jake through this cold case and look forward to the next in series. Highly recommended...


Terry McGhee was born in San Francisco, and grew up in Northern Calif. He received his BS and MBA degrees from California universities.
Working in technical sales and marketing in high end security electronics, he traveled the world on business logging 1.7 million air miles working in 77 foreign countries over a 35 year business career.
Mr. McGhee and his wife retired to their dream home which they designed and built. The author enjoys golf, hiking, reading, photography, writing, and exploring his local area on his Vespa motor scooter.
MYSTERY AT DEADFALL LAKE is the first published title for this writer. It is available at all bookstores and A retired security professional in a small resort town offers his pro-bono services to help with a 17 year old cold case. His life is threatened by a person, or persons unknown. 
THE AUTHOR'S 2ND BOOK TITLE, WORLD TRAVEL TALES, was published July 23, 2014. These stories are true experiences of a 35 year world business traveler...some GOOD, BAD, UGLY, AND HUMOROUS.
The author's 3rd book, Mystery on the Seine was published May 3rd 2016. This novella is the sequel to Mystery at Deadfall Lake.
The 3rd Jake Vincent novel, THE AWAKENING, released Sept 2017, deals with a changing America. The majority of Her citizens display a growing distaste for persons and organizations that are endeavoring to weaken the country. Jake gets caught up in an FBI investigation that attempts to identify those elements of society that are threatening America's greatness and exceptionalism. Murder is being committed to intimidate. The novel is controversial. Any relationship of some names and places to real persons is strictly coincidental. All are fictional creations of the author.

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