“Am I going to die?”
Eighteen-year-old Mary Jane Bailey is sprawled on her back in a weed-choked field, bleeding from a cut on her forehead, when she asks that question to the man in a sharkskin suit standing over her holding a straight razor.
It is 1968. Jane is both a student and snitch. A federal agency asks her to keep her eyes open and report on potentially violent activities at Cal State Long Beach. For reasons even she doesn’t understand, Jane agrees.
Go with her as she encounters vicious thugs, police and pot heads, goes to a beach party where she takes midnight swim through the red tide, all the while trying to infiltrate a radical group and establish whether they’re as dangerous as they seem.
And the man with a straight razor standing over Jane? He answers her question with a single word.
"A historical thriller enriched by characters who sparkle and refuse to be forgotten. Jane, for starters, is a remarkable protagonist . . . The story thoroughly embodies the '60s era, both its anti-war sentiments and pop culture. The decade is also humorously portrayed . . ." - Kirkus Reviews
Buzzkill and its companion novel Crashpad are the latest thrillers by James R. Preston, author of the Surf City Mysteries and two-time recipient of the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference Award for Fiction. His works have been described as “beach noir” and “Margaritaville, but with guns.