Stones crunching and popping off tires registered innocuously in the back of Tanya’s mind as she sat in an armless swayback lounge chair swiping her finger across an iPad. She felt wonderfully cozy with her legs folded tightly underneath herself, wearing jersey knit stretch pants and an oversized sweatshirt. At no time in her young life had she ever imagined seeing a house like the ones on the Home & Design website, never mind relaxing in a modern living room of concrete and glass looking into a leafy paradise. When she heard knocking and doorbell chimes, Tanya felt more annoyed at having to leave her comfy lounge chair than alarmed by the urgency of whoever was visiting.
She opened the front door to see her friend’s familiar smile. He treated her like gold but his arrival deflated her mood a bit, reminded her that her days of living in a suburban wonderland were coming to a close. Good things lay ahead, she knew, but a bittersweet mixture of hope and anxiety was also never far away.
“What’s in the suitcase?” Tanya asked, as if she didn’t know.
“Your train has finally arrived, my love,” her friend said, locking the door then following Tanya back to the living room, pulling a small metallic suitcase on rollers. Tanya returned to the lounge chair. Her friend dragged a chair over from a card table and sat in front of her. They made small talk for several minutes before he smiled broadly, put both hands on the suitcase handle, then struggled to lift it chest high, where he held it a few seconds before dropping it back down.
“Oh, my god!” Tanya said.
They both laughed. Tanya told her friend she couldn’t wait to buy more comfy clothes like what she was wearing. Then tires skidded on gravel. Soon after, someone fiddled with the door. Tanya’s friend jumped to his feet, then backed away from the living room entrance, dragging the suitcase with him.
That’s when the guys with the guns walked in.
Title: Gold Coast Blues
Author: Marc Krulewitch
In Marc Krulewitch’s gritty new mystery, perfect for readers of Robert Crais and Marcia Muller, a beautiful missing woman and a mysterious wine lead Chicago shamus Jules Landau straight toward a killer with very bad taste.
Jules Landau’s father was mobbed up, as was his father before him. Jules takes a different path: He’s a licensed private eye, currently collecting his paycheck in cash from a young ex-con looking for his missing girlfriend, Tanya. But as Jules scours Chicago’s North Side, he realizes that any number of people might want to make sure Tanya stays gone. At the heart of her disappearance seems to be a thriving black market for expensive French wine—a vintage so lucrative that Tanya may have paid for it with her life.
Following a trail of cash and power with more twists than a corkscrew, Jules traces a criminal conspiracy back to a corrupt New Jersey cop. With nobody telling the truth, Jules knows he has to act fast . . . because a perfect crime only gets better with age.
Marc Krulewitch’s Jules Landau mysteries take place in Chicago, where he was born and where his family has lived for generations. He now resides in Colorado.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marc-Krulewitch/e/B00494ET3W
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Penguin Random House