Beth Bowman is not a late sleeper, but it doesn’t bother her if the sun beats her up. Certainly, five AM is too early for her to be stirring unless on a case. This time, though, it’s the Chief of Police asking her to come into the station. If you’re a PI in Coral Lakes, FL, you want to maintain good relations with the police, especially the chief. So, Beth drags herself out of bed, preps for the day and heads for a meeting on an unknown subject.
The news is not good. A man was found dead in the park, beaten to death. He carried no identification, but has the looks of a homeless person. Since Beth is friends with several of the homeless in the area, the chief is hopeful she’ll recognize him. She does. The dead man has a tattoo of the outline of the state of Texas on his neck. A star in the tattoo in the approximate location of Dallas gave him his street name—Dallas. But that’s about all Beth knows about him. He hasn’t been in the area very long.
The chief has nothing except a gut feeling to go on, and that points him toward a new group that has come to Coral Lakes—Friends Intent on The Environment, or FITE. He asks Beth not to get involved, to let the police handle this one.
Beth is noncommittal, knowing full-well she will warn her friends to sleep indoors and be more careful. A second body turns up, a copy of what happened to Dallas. Then, a young man is found shot to death in the park. Dabba, a member of Beth’s group, is arrested for the murder.
Beth will not believe Dabba to be guilty and sets herself on a path to track down the people who are turning Coral Lakes into a social battlefield.
The young man who was killed was a member of Friends Intent on The Environment. The demonstrations intensify as the leader of FITE demands that Dabba be turned over to them for justice. That leader, Cloie Morales, is expert at manipulating a crowd, and the Coral Lakes downtown is soon a burning scene reminiscent of war between the police and those supporting FITE.
SAVING DABBA is book 4 in the Beth Bowman series. A transplanted Texan, she is a PI in Coral Lakes, FL. In book 1, HOT ROCKS, Beth is befriended by a group of homeless. They accept her and become her allies in resolving the cases she takes on. Each of them has a tragic story, which comes out during the course of the books.
Book 5, which is in progress, takes Beth into the world of illegal immigration and those who exploit immigrants. It’s a look at another social and political problem in our society.
Thanks, Kevin, for letting me discuss my work.
Randy Rawls ©2018
Randy Rawls was born and reared in Williamston, North Carolina, a small town in the northeastern part of the state. From there, he says he inherited a sense of responsibility, a belief in fair play, and a love of country. As a career US Army officer, he had the opportunity to learn, travel, teach, and hone talents inherited from his parents. Following retirement, he worked in other ventures for the US Government. Every job has in some way been fun. Even the dark days of Vietnam had their light moments, and he cherishes the camaraderie that was an integral part of survival in that hostile world.
Today, he has short stories in several anthologies, and a growing list of novels to his credit. As a prolific reader, the reads across several genres and takes that into his writing. He has written mysteries, thrillers, an historical, and two fantasy/mystery/thrillers featuring a Santa Elf. The count is now at fourteen and growing. He is a regular contributor to Happy Homicides, a twice annual anthology of cozy short stories. He also has a series of short stories featuring a cattle-herding burro. Wherever his imagination will take him, he follows.