Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Questions will haunt you until the last page

Tahoe Ghost Boat
Todd Borg
384 Pages
Thriller Press
$14.97 trade paper / $3.99 Kindle

Owen McKenna has been in tight situations before but this might top them all.

McKenna gets a frantic cellphone call from a woman who says she’s being followed on the highway at that moment. After tangling with the woman’s pursuer, the Tahoe private eye meets his new client: Nadia Lassitor. She tells McKenna that her husband is dead from a boating accident and she’s being threatened and blackmailed via anonymous emails asking for $2 million—the amount of her husband’s life insurance. Nadia is self-absorbed and focused on clothes, cars and make up and McKenna tells her so.

But this is mostly the story of Nadia’s daughter, Gertie O’Leary, who lives with her father, Nadia’s ex-husband, because Nadia didn’t want custody. Gertie’s father is neglectful and sees his 15-year-old daughter when he’s not at work or at a bar.Tahoe-Ghost-Boat

Author Borg gives us the sad but not hopeless life story of this lonely teen as she becomes the focal point for a deadly, violent conflict involving several seemingly deranged murderers including Mikhailo the Monster, as the FBI calls him, a mixed martial arts expert.

Nadia’s deceased husband, Ian Lassitor, a less-than-ethical Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and a reclusive old woman who speaks to McKenna only through her front door figure into the story that steps up its pace quickly and doesn’t slow down until the end.

Two elements of the book particularly shine: the exploration and development of Gertie’s abilities, dreams and doubts and the book’s conclusion that ties everything together—even things you forgot about—into a tight package.

And of course Borg doesn’t neglect the light touches: “He answered with a six-pack slur in his speech.”

This solid 12th installment of the series raises your interest (and excitement) level with each page.

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