‘Locked In,’ by Jeff Shelby

Locked In

Author Jeff Shelby has several mystery series going, but my favorite is his Noah Braddock series, featuring a surfer/private detective in San Diego. Noah defies all your (or at least my) presuppositions about surfers, being a thoughtful and highly ethical character.

A couple books ago, Noah killed the man who murdered his girlfriend, who was a San Diego cop. The last novel found him living incognito in Florida, surfing unfamiliar waves. But now his ethics have caught up with him, and the beginning of Locked In finds him heading back to San Diego with his friend Carter. He has decided he can’t live as a fugitive. He needs to face up to this.

He contacts his girlfriend’s old partner, who puts in a word with the District Attorney’s office. The DA, an imperious woman, offers him a deal – an “assault” is rumored to have happened at the University of San Diego, during a party involving the baseball team. He is to find out what he can about it. She will tell him nothing more. If he satisfies her with his answers, she’ll see that the charges against him are dropped (he killed a cop killer, after all). He agrees, with some discomfort, and steps into a world of lies, cover-ups, and self-serving deception, all the while mourning his lost love.

Noah Braddock is an excellent, sympathetic continuing character, and I enjoyed Locked In very much. Cautions for language and adult subject matter.

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