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Patty Crane: Late ’60s is setting for Colleen Hayes mystery novel | Lifestyles

The Summer time of Love occurred within the Haight-Ashbury space of San Francisco in 1967. Tens of hundreds of younger individuals converged on the neighborhood for music, medicine and free love. MAX TOMLINSON selected this setting to start his novel, “VANISHING IN THE HAIGHT.”

Margaret Copeland, downside youngster in her rich household, left dwelling to affix the hundreds gathering in Haight-Ashbury. Nonetheless, sharing a mattress with strangers in a loud, smoke-filled room has misplaced its attraction. Excessive and clutching a dime, Margaret is on her technique to a pay telephone. She desires to go dwelling, however a stranger who is aware of her identify is ready. Her physique is present in a close-by park crushed, raped and suffocated with a dry cleansing bag.

The San Francisco police attributed her dying, regardless of inconsistencies, to the Zodiac killer. Her household was not satisfied, and now 11 years later, her dying father desires the reality. His hope is that Colleen Hayes can discover the person liable for Margaret’s dying.

At first look, Colleen just isn’t an apparent alternative. She’s on parole after serving 9 years for manslaughter. She killed her husband when she found he molested their 8-year-old daughter, Pamela. She does have a enterprise, Hayes Confidential, however is awaiting her non-public investigator license.

Colleen got here to San Francisco a 12 months earlier to reconnect along with her daughter. In her seek for Pamela, she discovered the physique of a younger girl and helped Dan Moran of Santa Cruz Murder discover the killers. Impressed by her tenacity, Moran is the rationale Edward Copeland desires to rent her.

The one job Hayes Confidential has is guarding an deserted paint manufacturing unit the place Colleen can also be residing. That is the place Edward Copeland’s lawyer finds her. Not sure about taking up the case, Colleen doesn’t say sure or no. The choice is made for her by an early go to the subsequent day from her parole officer. After Colleen declines his advances, he deems her residing scenario is a parole violation. She agrees to look into Margaret’s homicide for a lot wanted cash and authorized assist along with her parole officer.

Colleen begins digging, and one of many first issues she desires is a take a look at the police file. Futile requests have been made by the household earlier than, however she goes forward with the paperwork. As she works her means from one division to a different at SFPD, calls are made alerting somebody to her request.

She doesn’t get the file, however she has the identify of the investigating officer and tracks him down. Compelled into retirement quickly after Margaret’s dying, Jim Davis agrees to satisfy and produce his copy of the homicide file. However somebody doesn’t need Margaret’s killer discovered, and Davis is killed earlier than he can speak.

The strain builds as Colleen follows clues and proof that was ignored within the preliminary investigation. We all know the police had been defending somebody in the summertime of 1967. How far will they go to defend a killer — a killer who’s again and stalking his subsequent sufferer? Colleen desires justice for each Margaret and Jim, however can she discover the reality earlier than there may be one other dying?

Tomlinson has penned a troublesome, tenacious heroine in Colleen. She’s good, has a robust need for justice however might be gently compassionate. It’s attention-grabbing to have a novel set in a time once you needed to have dimes for the pay telephone, the library was the place to go for analysis and discovering addresses, and also you placed on bell bottoms and platform footwear for an evening out.

This was billed as a the primary guide within the Colleen Hayes thriller sequence. The second guide, “Tie Die,” is out now, and I’m trying ahead to Colleen’s subsequent case.

Patty Crane is the reference librarian for the Joplin Public Library.

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