Coastal Empire

Coastal Empire

by Rocky Leonard




Wealthy and beautiful Sarah Reid hires private detective Robert Mercer to investigate her husband Barry, a real estate mogul whom she believes may be unfaithful. Mercer embarks on a case of possible identity theft and probable murder. He uncovers a vicious web of real estate fraud and jewelry theft that leads him to Kelly, an alluring woman with a few secrets of her own.

As Mercer pieces the puzzle together, the dead bodies begin to pile up and events threaten to spin out of control. With his canine partner Ox, a large black German Shepherd dog, and John Sutlive, an old Marine buddy, Mercer and his motley crew do battle with a small army of villains in a fight to the death for his client.

This novel, set in sultry and mysterious Savannah, Georgia, is the inaugural book in the Robert Mercer detective series of great mysteries with irresistible supernatural twists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615588957
Publisher: Each Voice Publishing
Publication date: 01/09/2012
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

John L. Leonard wrote this novel under the pen name of Rocky Leonard in honor of his father. In real life, Rocky Leonard was one of the most colorful characters you could ever want to meet. John credits his dad for the sarcastic wit and cynicism of the Robert Mercer character.
The author routinely writes articles for a number of online publications and was interviewed on the Dennis Miller radio show. Coastal Empire is his first novel. He has also written short stories for an anthology about animals and is editing his second detective novel, Secondhand Sight.
John holds a BBA from the University of Georgia and worked as a computer programmer for more than twenty years before becoming a writer. His writing has also been influenced by shorter stints working as a bartender, real estate investor and landlord.
He has been married to wife Lisa for twenty-two years. John is the proud father of two and grandfather of three, as well as pack leader for several wonderful dogs and one crazy cat.
Born in Savannah, John has spent most of his adult life in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. The local color in his writing is equally authentic whether the setting is a Georgia beach, downtown Atlanta, or the Appalachian foothills in north Georgia.
Connect with John online at

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Coastal Empire 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MBLevine More than 1 year ago
In author Rocky Leonard’s debut novel, Coastal Empire, Savannah private detective Robert Mercer, finds himself in the middle of an elaborate, illegal real estate scheme after taking a job to track a suspected philanderer. What begins as a simple case soon becomes a tangled web of fraud and murder. Mercer risks his on life as he works to save the remaining targets on the criminals’ list. This story has a complicated plot that moves in unexpected directions. After receiving a thank you card from a jeweler in Atlanta, Sarah Reid hires Robert Mercer to find out if her husband, Barry Reid, a prominent local real estate agent, is cheating on her. Mercer accepts the job and spends a couple of days in Atlanta searching for the man who sent the thank you card. During his investigation, Mercer meets Kelly, a woman who originally presents herself as an employee of the jewelry store, but who Mercer later discovers is a significant figure in his case. Upon his return to Savannah, Mercer meets Nick Mason when Nick runs out into the middle of the street as Mercer and his dog Ox are making their way home. This chance meeting turns into a partnership when Nick informs Mercer of strange real estate transactions involving multi-million dollar properties and a local attorney. When the men discover that the owners of two of those properties were killed just months after a real estate trust on their properties was set up, they investigate the key players in the scheme. Barry Reid happens to be one of them. Leonard has created an intriguing storyline that demands the reader keep up with each twist and insertion of new information in order to comprehend fully what the characters are up against. Mercer emerges as a powerful force in the book, as he makes capturing the criminals and saving prospective victims his mission. His intelligence, military background, and compassion make Mercer an attractive lead and a solid anchor for future books in the Robert Mercer mystery series. There are many characters in this book whose roles must be defined and connected to the main plot. Fortunately, Leonard successfully connects all of the dots and doesn’t leave a single loose thread as the story ends. Coastal Empire is a terrific start to the Robert Mercer mystery series and a strong first effort from a new author. Melissa Brown Levine for Independent Professional Book Reviewers
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite "Caostal Empire", written by John “Rocky” Leonard, has its setting in the beautiful Savannah, Georgia. Our story begins with a murder and a big bang. When Sarah Reid walked into private investigator Robert Mercer office, he admired her beauty. She hired him to investigate her husband, Barry, a real estate tycoon, suspecting him of cheating on her. Mercer thought “her husband must be an idiot.” Could Barry be an adulterous husband or was it a case of identity theft? The investigation turned dangerous as the murder victims began to build up. Mercer, his faithful German shepherd Ox and his friend, a former Marine, go head to head with a dangerous network of scammers. They are involved in real estate scams and jewelry larceny in this exciting gumshoe mystery. Fans of mystery will be thrilled with John Leonard’s debut novel, "Coastal Empire". His characters are well done especially the lead, Robert Mercer. Mercer has more than a bit of attitude; he is acerbic and a skeptic which makes him perfect for this new series. "Coastal Empire" is a solid detective novel reminding me of a more current Marlowe mystery. This tale has several threads that Leonard successfully weaves together in a most unlikely manner. Like most mystery fans I tried to outguess the author but I found it impossible to figure out the ending on this one. I found it heartwarming that Leonard modeled Robert Mercer upon his father. This is the first book in the 'Robert Mercer series'. In my opinion this series will be well received. "Coastal Empire" has a lot going for it: great characterization, an exciting plot and fine language. Watch for the name John “Rocky” Leonard.