The Dead Beat Scroll

Mysterious Book Report No.  395

by John Dwaine McKenna

August Riordan is “an old meat-eating dinosaur” type of Private Investigator who’s returned to San Francisco to track down the person that killed his friend and one-time partner, Chris Duckworth, in the soon-to-be-issued, (Nov. 19, 2019), murder mystery entitled The Dead Beat Scroll, (Down & Out Books, PB, $17.95, 265 pages, ISBN 978-1-64396-031-9) by award-winning author Mark Coggins.

Duckworth, who’d taken over Riordan’s business, office space and apartment, was working a missing persons case when he died, and Riordan thinks that the case has something to do with the murder.  Chris Ducksworth was hired by an attractive young woman named Angelina to find her half-sister, who’s gone missing.  But when Riordan takes over the case, he discovers a demented and violently murderous polyamorous “family” intent on obtaining an unknown manuscript, written by Jack Kerouac, one of the most famous of the Beat Writers from the late 1940s and early 50s.

As Riordan follows clues left by Duckworth, and a trail of mutilated dead bodies left by the family, he quickly realizes that recovering the manuscript is the key to avenging his old partner and saving himself and Angelina from kidnap, torture and death.

The Dead Beat Scroll is fast-paced and propulsive, written in a style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler, with a plot that will surprise the reader on more than one occasion.  But beware, it’s also a deep dive into the alternate lifestyles of one of America’s most notorious cities!

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