Come What May

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In his debut crime fiction novel, Larry Darter introduces Los Angeles Police Detective Ben Malone.

On the surface, Malone appears to be the archetypal cynical, tough-guy cop. He sometimes drinks too much. He can be quick-tempered and easily provoked into violent confrontations. Recently divorced, Malone leads a mostly solitary life with few close friends, no family connections, and no enduring love interest. Yet in spite of it all, Malone can be surprisingly sensitive, even sentimental, when it is least expected of him.

While he isn’t above bending department policy to get the job done the way he believes it should be done, he never strays from his own personal code of ethics.

 

After his involvement in a third fatal police-involved shooting in less than a year, the department brass decides to temporarily reassign him from Hollywood Division to Robbery-Homicide Division’s Cold Case Homicide Special Section while he undergoes mandatory evaluation by a department shrink aimed at determining whether Malone is too quick to use deadly force.

While reviewing cold case files Malone comes across an unsolved 23-year-old homicide case where a woman was found brutally murdered inside her Los Angeles townhouse in 1992. The original police investigators concluded that she was killed during a burglary gone sideways. The leads were thin and the case went cold when no viable suspects were identified.

After reviewing the murder book, Malone realizes that for some unexplained reason the original detectives assigned the case never looked beyond the flawed "burglary gone bad" theory of how and why the murder occurred. The more he studies the case, the more obsessed Malone becomes with solving it. When it becomes evident that his supervisor won't authorize re-opening the case, Malone chooses to skirt department policy and embarks on an unofficial investigation into the old case. Soon thereafter Malone finds himself in serious trouble and his problems begin to mount. It soon becomes apparent that there are some powerful forces at work, aimed at derailing his efforts to solve the decades-old murder.

The forces arrayed against Malone, both inside and outside the LAPD, will stop at nothing to prevent the truth about the murder from seeing the light of day. Malone, however, refuses to let sleeping dogs lie. The more barriers and obstacles that are thrown up in his path, the more determined he becomes to break the case, come what may. Even if it costs him his police career.

While a work of fiction, Come What May was inspired by a true story, a cold case homicide from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department that went unsolved for 23 years.

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