Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2005.
Jake Danser has it all: a beautiful wife, a house in the California hills, a high-profile job as a forensic psychologist. But he’s also got a mistress. And when Jake’s mistress is found strangled to death with his necktie, it’s up to him to prove he didn’t do it. But how can he, when all the evidence says he did?
Murder is afoot in the tropical climes of the Florida Keys—Peter Falconer, the son of wealthy parents who stands to gain a fortune in inheritance on his 30th birthday, is missing and presumed dead. Ex-Army investigator Daniel Shaw, who is currently studying law and preparing for the Bar exam, is summoned by the devious—and incredibly witty—attorney Tom Petrie to find Peter and rescue the inheritance money.
The pursuit leads Daniel from the Keys to Jamaica to South America, where he tangles with the larger-than-life criminal Raven Ahriman and his partner, Charles Angleton, Peter’s childhood friend who ultimately orchestrated Peter’s disappearance in connection with some dubious dealings in snuff films and the death of two young girls who participated in the filming. With the assistance of Tom; Peter’s sister, Susan, who is devastated to learn of her brother’s shady interests; and Daniel’s hired loose-cannon…[more]
Twenty-five years ago, an unspeakable crime was committed and Roy Slater fled—from the life he thought he wanted, from the memories he couldn’t avoid, and from the devastating suspicions of those he called friends. But now that his estranged father is dying, the prodigal son has returned to confront the past—and finds himself inextricably caught up with an old flame and a new murder, one that leads him inevitably back into the twisted web of deceit and violence from which he thought he’d escaped.
How on earth did nebbish university librarian David Goldberg end up on Virginia’s Ten Most Wanted Criminals list for bestiality? And how did he get ensnared in a vast right-wing conspiracy to steal the presidency? It all begins so innocently when Goldberg starts moonlighting for eccentric, conservative billionaire Alan Carston Stowe as an archivist. But Goldberg’s appointment worries a cabal of ruthless right-wingers-ostensibly allies of Stowe, whose money lubricates their zany scary conspiracies-with very close ties to the White House. They fear that Goldberg will find something in Stowe’s records that will compromise the dirty tricks involved in re-electing Augustus Winthrop Scott, the dim scion of a powerful Republican political family, for a second term. As the presidential election heads into its final stretch, the hunt is on to remove Goldberg from his position-by any means necessary. …[more]
Martin Brock is living a wasted life. He wants to be happy. He wants to have a girlfriend who can stand to be near him. He wants his friends to respect him. Burned out and self-deluded, he takes each day as it comes, dealing low-quality cocaine to tourists, his head in a perpetual cloud of pot smoke. Martin knows he’s in a rut, but he lacks the will to dig himself out. Incapable of changing his life, he hopes instead that one day something momentous will simply fall into his lap.
And, one day, it does. An old friend rides into town, unannounced and uninvited, needing a place to lie low for a couple of days. He says he’s been in a motorcycle accident, and hides a badly infected leg beneath his expensive leathers. Martin almost cares, but he’s far more interested in what’s concealed beneath the seat of the bike: five kilos of high-grade cocaine. Suddenly Martin has the means to escape his miserable existence: all he needs is a little time and a lot of luck. But Martin Brock is not a lucky man. He’s spent years dreaming of a life of ease, a life of plenty, and a life of unlimited narcotics. By the end of the week, he’ll settle for any life at all.