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Lost Tomorrows: A Rick Cahill Novel


Lost Tomorrows: A Rick Cahill Novel

Barely surviving annihilation by San Diego’s Russian Mafia in 2018’s WRONG LIGHT, Rick Cahill now risks everything to avenge the death of a friend, Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Krista Landingham. In doing so, he discovers the disturbing truth about his wife’s murder 14 years before. The introduction to that unsolved mystery is detailed in Matt Coyle’s Anthony Award-winning debut, YESTERDAY’S ECHO.

Krista was rookie Rick’s training officer, from whom he learned “to walk the edge and not fall off.” She had climbed the SBPD ladder and was part of the Major Investigation Unit, reopening the Colleen Cahill cold case --- Rick’s wife, whom he was charged with murdering. Krista was more than a friend, the person he was “with the night my wife was murdered. I never forgave either of us for being together when I should have been with my wife.”

"Reminiscent of Robert Frost’s 'The Road Not Taken,' this phenomenally crafted Cahill installment provides Rick with roads taken and those not --- choices best left unmade and those made too late."

Now, Krista has been run down at 2:17 Monday morning, hours after restaurants had closed. Her sister, Leah, notifies Rick of the funeral --- and engages him to investigate the suspicious death. She “wanted justice. I wanted revenge.” “Leah’s quest for the truth had boundaries. Decency. Mine didn’t.” Leah also hires Rick’s former nemesis, retired SBPD Detective Jim Grimes, who was certain Rick had killed Colleen and arrested him, never connecting enough dots for a trial. Combined, the three learn details concerning Colleen and Krista. Moreover, Grimes becomes an SBPD persona non grata, eliminating any link to the department.

“Colleen and Krista’s deaths were linked. I felt it in my bones. And one person was responsible for both.” The parallel plots morph from investigating Krista’s death to Colleen’s. Grimes tells Rick “that you should never jump to conclusions in homicide cases.” The only time Grimes had done that was with Rick, who now draws a geodesic connecting vengeful imaginary dots. Arresting Colleen’s murderer wasn’t his goal. “No trial. No verdict. Just the death penalty.” His name appears to be derived from maverick, defined as an unorthodox or independent-minded person. That’s Rick, all right.

Reminiscent of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” this phenomenally crafted Cahill installment provides Rick with roads taken and those not --- choices best left unmade and those made too late. One poignant scene presents a mind-bending bad choice: “Nausea swarmed inside me. Cold sweat blanketed my body. I fell forward to all fours and wretched. The last bit of undigested food in my stomach fire-hosed out of my mouth.”

Readers seeking a thriller that borders on a study of psychology will find a treasure trove in this novel set in Santa Barbara, the city of lost tomorrows.

Raymond Chandler reincarnate Matt Coyle is the upcoming Left Coast Crime San Diego 2020 Convention Toastmaster. In addition to the impressive accomplishments identified at this link, WRONG LIGHT was a Lefty Award and San Diego Book Award finalist and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Coyle is a Macavity finalist and Anthony Award-winning author who is currently crafting his seventh Rick Cahill novel.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on December 6, 2019

Lost Tomorrows: A Rick Cahill Novel
by Matt Coyle