Mysterious Book Report Broken WindowsBroken Windows by Paul D. Marks

Down & Out Books, PB, $18.95, 334 pages, ISBN 978-1-948235-07-5

One of the hottest, most emotional and controversial issues facing the nation today is immigration.  Say it once at a cocktail party and a discussion will start.  Say it twice and an argument breaks out.  Dare utter the word for a third time and the fist fight is on . . . metaphorically speaking, of course.  Now, a bold young Shamus Award-winning author has penned a thrilling, private investigator murder mystery that takes the reader all the way back to the dim, dark and unenlightened past of the early ‘90s . . . a time before the world had been brow-beaten and politically corrected into gender-neutered language, thoughts and deeds lest someone, somewhere, get their feelings hurt and have to go to a safe room and snuggle with a teddy bear for a little while . . . because it appeared that the minority opinion, rather than the majority one, would rule.

Broken Windows, by Paul D. Marks, is the second of his Duke Rogers PI series, and it opens in 1994 in Los Angeles: The City of Angels, the city of Hammett, Chandler and James Ellroy, of Marilyn and Sunset Boulevard and the Black Dahlia.  It’s just after the Rodney King riots and a firestorm is raging over Proposition 187, an anti-illegal immigrant ballot initiative that would deny hospital, school and other services to those without US citizenship.  Against that backstory, a despondent young woman climbs to the top of the famous Hollywood sign and leaps to her death.  An undocumented day laborer is murdered, while a disgraced and disbarred lawyer in Venice Beach is so desperate that he puts an ad in the LA Times newspaper that reads: Will do anything for money.

Private Investigator Duke Rogers, and his very un-politically correct associate Jake take on the pro-bono (non-paying) case of Carlos, the murdered day laborer as a favor to his sister Marisol, one of the Duke’s neighbor’s housekeeper.  Somehow, all three tragedies are related, and it’s up to Rogers to wade through a labyrinth of murder, corruption and intrigue between the Catholic Church and the State of California, and it all that has to do with the immigration debate.  This electrifying novel will jolt your sensibilities, stir your conscience and give every reader plenty of ammunition for the next mixed group where the I-word is spoken!


John Dwaine McKenna