The Gray and Guilty Sea: An Oregon Coast Mystery (Garrison Gage Series Book 1)
Scott William Carter, Jack Nolte
A curmudgeon. An iconoclast. A loner. That's how people describe Garrison Gage, and that's when they're being charitable. After his wife is brutally murdered in New York, and Gage himself is beaten nearly to death, the crippled misanthrope retreats three thousand miles to the quaint coastal town of Barnacle Bluffs, Oregon. He spends the next five years in a convalescent stupor, content to bide his time filling out crossword puzzles and trying to forget that his wife's death is his fault. But all that changes when he discovers the body of a young woman washed up on the beach, and his conscience draws him back into his old occupation, forcing him to confront the demons of his own guilt before he can hope to solve the girl's murder.
knocked anyway. Illiterate fools. He limped to the foyer, the peeling linoleum like ice against his bare feet. The smell of burnt toast hung in the air; he could never get that damn toaster working right. He tied his bathrobe and flung open the door. "What is it, then?" he said. He expected a vacuum salesman or a kid hocking magazine subscriptions, a frivolous interruption. Instead a sober-faced man in a gray trench coat stood on his concrete stoop; he wore a narrow blue tie, a white shirt. He
survived this long being an idiot? There ain't nothing out there you'll ever find that will be solid enough that any respectable paper would print it with my name attached—and that even includes your girlfriend's little rag. I'd sue her ass so fast she wouldn't know what hit her. I run a cleaning service that just so happens to employ a lot of attractive women. They get paid to clean houses. What they do outside of that is their personal business." "I imagine your rates are a little on the high
smiled down at Gage. "You're a pretty good poker player. It's not a bad skill to have, you know?" "Gee thanks." Gage drummed his fingers on the table, looking at his half-eaten pie and waiting for Jimmy to go away. But he didn't. Then he bent over and dropped his voice to a whisper—not that it mattered, because there was no one else in the diner. "Tell you what I'm going to do," he said. "I got a game I play Wednesday nights down at Sapphire Head. A lot of fat wallets. They know me pretty
was the moment when the case would crack open and all the answers would be revealed. Murderer confesses. Innocents are spared. Garrison Gage saves the day. He should have known it wouldn't be that easy, that more misery awaited him. Then he heard the groan of an engine coming up the road. He heard the swish of tires on the pavement. He climbed to his feet and eased himself back into the deeper shadows just as he saw the flash of headlights on the trees. A black Honda SUV rolled past, stopped at
hard on his palms. He rose again, hands coated with cold mud, and started around the perimeter, toward the castle and the turret. It was too risky to go across the road, too easy to be seen by someone watching from the forest. Ferns whipped at his pant legs. With the light fading, he had a hard time seeing the roots buried in the leaves, and they grabbed at his boots. He had to move fast. From where they'd started this race, the kid had a good five-minute lead on him. Hurry now, hurry. Get that