Below the Line by Howard Michael Gould (Charlie Waldo #2)
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 1.4 Mb
Below the Line : Eccentric private eye Charlie Waldo is back in another wildly fun and fast-paced thriller lampooning Southern California.
Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo was living in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions, until his PI ex-girlfriend Lorena dragged him back to civilization to solve a high-profile Hollywood murder. Now Waldo and Lorena have their hands full with a new client, a wild and privileged L.A. teenager named Stevie Rose who tells lies as easily as she breathes.
When the teacher Stevie claims seduced her turns up dead, the LAPD pegs her as the prime suspect. Then Stevie disappears, and her self-involved Hollywood parents turn to Waldo to find her—a task that draws him down into Orange County’s dangerous and complex worlds, both opulent and seedy, where nothing is as it seems.
With treachery and deception at every turn, and with Waldo’s eco-obsessed rules for living complicating his already complicated relationship with Lorena, Waldo fends off enemies old and new as he races to find Stevie and solve the murder.
“It was attached to Willem Vander Janssen, Lorena’s beauteous husband. He had been working overseas and wasn’t due back until the next day—but here he was, standing at the center island of the kitchen with an array of fruits and vegetables and a knife and carving board and the masticating Omega before him, juicing in the nude. “Hey,” he said, casually, as if he and Waldo, near strangers, had on more than one pair of boxers between them.
“Hey,” said Waldo.
Willem and Lorena were theoretically separated but had decided to share their house until they could figure out the best way to dispose of their joint ownership. They were cordial enough cohabitants, notwithstanding Lorena’s torching of Willem’s ninety-thousand-dollar car, about which he apparently remained oblivious.
But his nakedness—what did it mean? It could simply be that Willem was preternaturally comfortable with his body. After all, he was nude on a billboard on Sunset, not two miles from here—in a slightly abridged view, perhaps, but that was just a matter of logo placement. Or was he marking his territory? Had he come out here knowing Waldo was in the house, wanting to remind the interloper padding about in his underwear that he was still Lorena’s husband, and that during Waldo’s three years as a hermit, he had laid a claim on her so physically intoxicat”