Max Paddington refuses to go into the light until he finds his killer. This presents a dilemma, since Max is even less competent as a spirit than he was as a live person. No one sees or hears him and he can’t manage to get anywhere or do anything on his own.
Joe Cavelli is a private investigator, living an ordinary life. Then one day he walks across a parking lot, gets yelled at by a ghost, and his life only gets stranger from there.
Max and Joe team up to find Max’s killer. In the process, they form an unlikely friendship and change each other’s lives in ways they never expected.
FREE October 31 – November 1
Excerpt from Into The Light
“Joe Cavelli!” detective Adam Nolan called. “What are you doing here? You finally get yourself arrested?”
Joe forced a smile. Nolan had been one of those kids who demanded the spotlight. He had to be the best, the toughest and the loudest. Maturity had changed some things but not that. Everyone in the police station lobby was now looking his way.
“Hey, Adam,” Joe said through his false smile. “I’m looking into a case and would appreciate your input.”
Adam Nolan’s eyes narrowed. “One of mine?”
“Yeah. Got a minute? It won’t take long.”
“You can buy me coffee and maybe I’ll help you out.”
As they walked to the coffee shop across the street, Max said, “This guy’s a jerk, Joe.”
Joe grimaced at the sound of Max’s voice. He half expected Nolan to react but, of course, he was the only person who heard Max speaking. Joe flashed a withering glance over his left shoulder, where Max’s voice had come from. Then he followed Nolan into the coffee shop.
Adam added three donuts to the coffee purchase. Max called him a pig and Joe shuffled his feet, hiding a smirk as he dug out his wallet. So far, Max was not doing a good job of sticking to their bargain. His background chatter made concentration difficult.
They took seats by the front window. Adam bit into his jelly donut, then asked, “So which one of my cases you interested in?”
“The guy murdered outside Chili’s. Max Paddington.”
“Paddington? What’s your interest in that case?”
“I’m looking into a few things as a favor,” Joe said. “What do you think happened?”
“Read the paper.”
“I did. You really believe it was a carjacking gone bad?”
“Looks that way.”
“Dumbass!” Max exclaimed. “No one wanted my car. I drive a lousy Honda. Who would kill over a Honda?”
Joe cleared his throat. “Have you spoken to the wife?”
Adam finished off his first donut and started on his second. A drop of jelly clung to his chin. “Of course I spoke to her. You don’t think I know how to do my job?”
Max called Adam a few choice names. Joe sighed. He wasn’t sure which of these idiots irritated him more at the moment. “I’m not questioning your job skills,” Joe said. “I’m just asking. Did she have an alibi? Any thoughts that she might have hired someone to get rid of her husband? Was she having an affair?”
“Why you want to know?” Adam asked. “Who you working for?”
“Like I said, I’m trying to clear a few things up for someone.”
Adam stuffed half a chocolate-filled donut into his mouth. Max groaned and sputtered from the seat beside him. Joe worked to keep his expression neutral. Finally, Adam said, “Wife’s clean. No reason to suspect her of anything.”
“Ask him about the divorce!” Max shouted. “What about that?”
“They seemed to be getting along well?” Joe asked. “No marital problems?”
“No such thing as a marriage without problems,” Adam said.
“Have there been other carjackings in that area?” Joe asked.
Adam glared defiantly. “No.”
“Do you have any suspects?”
“But you’re sure the wife’s not involved?”
Adam narrowed his eyes. “You got something I should know about?”
Joe briefly considered saying that, yeah, he had the murdered guy’s ghost. He couldn’t help but smile at the absurdity.
“What the hell you smiling about?” Adam asked. “You know something? ‘Cause if you do, you’d damn well better say so. I have no problem taking you down for obstruction.”
Max cursed at Adam. Joe said, “I’ve got nothing.”
“Yeah? Well, just so you know, you’re wasting your time looking at the wife. You working for Paddington’s mother? It’s her, right? She told me how difficult her poor son’s life was. Guy sounds like a wuss.”
“Hey!” Max shouted.
“Trust me,” Nolan continued, “Rachel Paddington didn’t kill her husband. She told me her and old Max had their problems. The guy was unhappy with his life, according to her. But to kill him? Nah. No motive.”
“What about the golf clubs?” Max demanded. “Did she tell you about the golf clubs?”
Joe said, “What about the golf… the insurance policy? She made out pretty well, didn’t she?”
“Standard policy,” Adam said, “taken out more than a decade ago. Nothing there, Joe. You’re wasting your time and now you’re wasting mine.”
Thanks for reading. 🙂