My first novel to be published by Crooked Cat Publishing on May 17, is The Hanging Murders, set in 1957 in and around the area of Lone Pine, Inyo County, California, where western movies started to come to life since 1920.
My protagonist, the flawed county sheriff of Inyo County, California, Jim Cobb, has been on a four-month drunken binge since the deaths of his wife and daughter while they were leaving Inyo County’s rural setting and the Sheriff for a History Professor at UCLA.
Jim has given up on his job, the people surrounding him, and all reason for living. In the depths of Jim’s despair, the Hanging Murderer returns, after a fifteen years hiatus. Between 1932 and 42, ten unknown men, all drifters, were murdered by hanging in the county. None of these cases were solved. All the previous murders occurred under the watch of Merrill Cobb, the Sheriff for thirty-six years, and Jim’s father.
Jim doesn’t think he could solve the crimes if his father couldn’t while he was Sheriff. A week after the discovery of the latest Hanging Murder, Jim’s best friend and retired sheriff’s deputy, Barton Haskel, is found dead in a car out in the Alabama Hills, a location area for movie westerns. Haskel’s death, at first, looked like a suicide, but Jim Cobb knows it was murder.