Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
Goodbye to Beekman Place

Goodbye to Beekman Place

by David Alan Dedin
Goodbye to Beekman Place

Goodbye to Beekman Place

by David Alan Dedin


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, March 30


On a cold night in 1980, a young gay man is murdered in the old Beekman Place Hotel in Peoria, Illinois. The crime is brutal and sexual, and the killer left behind two clues that seem to have traveled through time: Coca Cola from 1902 – made with cocaine instead of caffeine - and Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Clove Cigarettes, a brand defunct since 1898. With no witness to the crime and no match to fingerprints, the murder remains unsolved.

Twenty-seven years later, Frankie Downs – a writer for OldPlaces Magazine – travels from Chicago to Peoria to research Beekman Place’s nefarious past. That evening, Downs hits it off with a young gay tenant and a consensual S&M encounter ensues. When Frankie leaves for Chicago in the wee hours, the boy is still alive. But the following morning, the young man is found dead, in the same style, at the same hotel, and with the same clues as 27 years before. Unfortunately for Downs, in addition to being a suspect today, his fingerprints also match the 1980 crime…but he is not the killer.

Detective Kellie Hogan knows that Beekman Place hides a dangerous secret. The hotel is the key to a growing series of murders within the gay leather community, and her investigation reveals an ominous connection that’s driving the actions of everyone around her.

But something is very wrong.

Kellie realizes that in order to stop the present day killer, she must journey deep into the hotel’s sordid past to reveal a secret that’s been hidden in plain sight from the moment Frankie Downs began to write his story.

And it all revolves around the search for a single missing man...

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477298671
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Pages: 636
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.41(d)

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2013 David Alan Dedin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4772-9867-1

Chapter One

It Always Starts With a Kidnapping

I hate being old.

I hate waking up and farting as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, and I hate how puffy my face looks in the bathroom mirror when I pick the crust from the corners of my eyes. I hate having to sometimes take the stairs one at a time when I first come down to the kitchen, and I hate when the sunrise catches my reflection in the living room TV just right, reminding me to stand up straight and stop slouching like an old woman.

I really hate how my first cup of coffee always makes me shit.

When I was younger, my family said I resembled my father when he was my age. "You've got your dad's eyes and hair color," they said, "and when you smile, your dimples fold the same way his did. You've got his cheek bones."

I'll admit, there are times when I see Father's face looking back at me in the mirror, but I don't see a 38-year-old man anymore; I see his reflection as he is right now, a man in his sixties who is approaching the later phases of life.

I have no idea how I lost eleven years ...

Peoria, Illinois 1980

The glowing orange letters of the Landmark Cinema marquee shimmered like a campfire on a cold February night. The sky was a sheet of frozen black glass, a dark window spattered with dusty blue stars and clouds that looked like crumbled wax paper. In the distance, the rising moon hung just above the riverfront. It peered cautiously over the tips of the skeletal trees and triangular shadows of the old downtown skyline.

A white-trashy girl, with heavy blue eyeshadow and a failed attempt at Farah Fawcett hair, walked past the theater's entrance with her hands shoved deep into the pockets of a hunting jacket that smelled like Mennen. The coat was far too big for her, and wearing it made her feel like a Weeble.

Before her shift, her boyfriend had warned her it was going to snow that night and she'd better wear something warmer if she would be working outside. As usual she didn't listen, which had really pissed him off, starting a fight as he drove her to work and making him peel his tires as he sped off. Though she would never give him the satisfaction of knowing he was right, the dropping temperature had forced her to borrow a jacket from one of the fat guys who worked the window, giving him the wrong idea. She tried not to look his direction when she quickly glanced at the box office clock.

Thank God it's almost over, she thought.

The same thing every Saturday night, again and again and again.

* * *

The usherette picked ticket stubs and discarded popcorn containers from the sidewalk while the cars arriving for the last movie circled the parking lot, looking for spaces nearer the building. A brown van gunned its engine, completely disregarding the posted 5 MPH limit, which left the girl coughing in a cloud of hot exhaust when it raced by.

A growing line of people had gathered in front of the box office now, teenagers mostly and young adults in their early-to mid-twenties. Many of the teens were dressed like it was still Halloween, and the girl even saw one freshman boy shivering in fishnet stockings under his long coat. He was holding a newspaper in front of his crotch, like an old man at a porno theater.

The girl noticed almost everyone in line was carrying bread, rice, squirt guns, and toilet paper. Shit, I'm gonna be cleaning up half the night, she thought. The steam from her breath lingered in the air like smoke. Fuck, I hate Rocky Horror night.

A few minutes passed, and the line edged through the lobby. A few last-minute stragglers ran in from their cars, coughing marijuana smoke. The usherette followed behind them, but soon returned with a broom and small plastic dustpan.

From inside his idling car, Rich Pelonis watched her intently.

* * *

The Cadillac's glistening hood ornament, a football field's distance from her dashboard, peered out across the parking lot, a silhouette against a horizon of black paint and chrome. From his vantage point in the car, the hood ornament was the only stationary object in sight. The rest of his vision swirled in blurry waves of light, color, and rye.

Shutting his eyes, Rich swallowed another mouthful of whiskey and Coke, relishing the burn in his throat. When he opened his eyes again, the dashboard's instrument panel came back into focus, its amber numbers glowing in the dark. Gary Newman's Cars sang out from the radio.

    Here in this car ... I am safe from it all ...
    I can close every door ...
    It's the way that I live ... in this car ...

Rich had loved this song since he was a boy. He settled back to enjoy the music while there was still time to kill. He was finally starting to relax.

* * *

Rich hated Peoria. It was as shitty and rural as rural shit towns got. He had spent his entire life living in the Chicago area, and as far as he was concerned, "downstate Illinois" meant Joliet or Aurora.


What the fuck am I doing here? he wondered.

It had taken three solid hours just to drive to this god-forsaken place, and that wasn't counting the extra forty minutes he'd spent getting out of the city and past the construction where the tollway joined I-55. Traffic had finally leveled out once he was south of the old Joliet Arsenal, but then the landscape changed abruptly, growing flat, dark, and lonely.

For the next two and a half hours, Rich shared the highway with little more than eighteen-wheelers and the occasional Chevy pickup. He traveled through some of the smallest places he'd ever seen, tiny towns with farmer names like Dwight and Odell.

The countryside grew even quieter when he was forced to leave the highway and move to a smaller state route. There was no major interstate connecting Peoria to Chicago.

His eyes glued to the clock, Rich nervously fiddled with a credit card, twirling it between his fingers. The card was black and had the phrase Shh, No Talking! beneath the circular logo of a hissing cat. The name BILL ROANOKE was embossed in gold letters above the account number.

Rich took another swig from his flask before riveting his eyes back onto the dashboard clock.

It's almost time.

* * *

Drinking and driving was a dangerous thing for Rich to do these days, especially considering what happened to him in Orland Park a few years ago.

Back in 2005, two years ago from Rich's point of view, he had been a manager in training at a local Outback Steakhouse and was engaged to Jolynn, a waitress he met at the restaurant. When Jolynn got pregnant, as a courtesy Rich tried not to drink in front of her, but that was a hard thing to do with so many friends who hit the bars after work. One night his buddies came in while he was bartending and "twisted his arm" until he agreed to join them at Salerno's, a nearby tavern, after his shift. Later, the party had been ready to move on to a different location when Jolynn called his cell, insisting he come home.

It took some doing, but Rich convinced her to join him at the next stop.

Forty minutes later, Jolynn had pulled into Salerno's parking lot, just in time to see Rich's taillights leaving. She followed, but because of traffic, she was several minutes behind him, far enough away so he never saw the accident.

A homeless man had stumbled into the oncoming lane and was struck by a car. The impact threw the man into Jolynn's path, and his body bounced off her hood with a thump. The police assured the expectant mother that she, herself, wasn't responsible for the death, but she had naturally become hysterical and desperately tried to reach her fiance.

But Rich never answered his phone.

In fact, he didn't come home that night at all.

Rich focused on the clock again.

* * *

Rich hated the weeks that followed Jolynn's accident. Her doctor made her stop working for the remainder of her pregnancy, putting additional stress on him to cover all their bills himself. To make matters worse, Jolynn seemed to become needy and insecure overnight, frequently calling him at the restaurant, asking when he was coming home.

It was almost like she was trying to push him away, Rich told Jolynn the night he left her, shoving her fat ass onto the bed when she was crying, trying to hug him. Clinging to him. Suffocating him.

Stupid bitch.

Using an unborn kid to make him feel bad.

And if she was acting that way now, what would she be like in a few years?

Rich could only imagine how tough things would be if Jolynn had been his wife the night his drinking had really gotten him into trouble.

Someone's coming out.

* * *

Crouching in his seat, Rich watched as the the parking lot slowly filled with people. The new Pacino movie Cruising had just let out, and as was the case for any film the Godfather star appeared in, attendance was good—very good on opening weekend. But Cruising's gay-themed plot wasn't having the same success as Pacino's other films, and Rich could see disappointment in the 1980s audience. From behind the steering wheel, he watched as a group of good ol' boys strutted by, obviously pissed about having paid for that movie.

"That was fucking sick," one of them complained. "I mean, I was expecting Dog Day Afternoon, you know?"

"Or The Godfather," someone else said.

"Fucking faggot Godfather."

"Al Pacino ain't no queer!"

"Pacino? I thought it was De Niro!"

"It's those damn Rocky Horror faggots, that's what it is."

"Same thing every Saturday night, again and again and again."

"Men wearing women's clothes."

"Or dressed like the goddamn Village People!"

"We should get our money back," one guy said, lighting a smoke. "Tell the big guy in the window that it wasn't what we thought it was going to be. He's the one in charge, right?"

"You mean the manager?"


"Screw that. I need a goddamn beer."

"Hey, check out this Firebird." One of the men stooped down to admire the Trans Am's grille, just a few feet from Rich's Cadillac. "What do you think she's got? A 350?"

"Whaaaat do you think she's got, a three-fifteeeeee?" someone mocked. "Shit, Donnie, let's go. It's quarter Bud night at Foxy's, and I got me a roll of quarters in my pocket."

Sophomoric laughter worked its way through the group.

"C'mon, Donnie!"

Donnie stood up but hesitated when he noticed the Caddy's proximity to the Pontiac. Rich had parked so close to the Trans Am that its driver's side was inaccessible. Neither the Pontiac's driver's door nor the Cadillac's passenger door could be opened.

"Nice parking job," Donnie said snidely to Rich, then caught up with his friends before Rich had a chance to respond.

Rich let it go.

No need to start a fight here, he thought, returning his gaze to the clock. Without even realizing he was doing it, he wiped his clammy hands on the lap of his jeans.

I am scared to do this.

* * *

From across the parking lot, a brown van started its engine. It was a 1970s-style conversion van, the same one that had passed the usherette earlier. It turned into the aisle and reparked in the newly vacated space on the passenger side of the Trans Am. Like the Cadillac, the vehicle blocked access to the Pontiac's door. The van shut its engine, and its driver—a man in his late twenties with a shaved head and biker jacket—gave Rich a nod before disappearing into the back.

Despite the cold, Rich felt hot and uncomfortable, probably from the whiskey. He turned off the heat and cracked open the sunroof. His thoughts returned to the event which had brought him here tonight, the Palos Heights drunk driving accident where Rich had done far more than just injure another driver. That night's repercussions had changed his life completely.

He's coming out now.

* * *

In an instant, Rich's body went numb.

The kid leaving the Landmark was exactly where he was supposed to be.

Glancing at the van, Rich couldn't see the skinhead, but he knew his partner was there, watching from behind one of the darkened windows.

Rich crouched in the car in silence.

* * *

A young man in his twenties had just stepped onto the sidewalk.

He was a typical midwestern closet case, with feathered brown hair and a black leather jacket. The kid had obviously enjoyed the movie. He still had a hard-on and was trying to hide it with his coat. Not wanting to be seen, he made a beeline for his Trans Am.

He didn't even look up until he was directly in front of Rich's Eldorado.

* * *

Blondie's One Way Or Another blared from the dashboard radio as the usherette opened the door to her boyfriend's Grand Torino. In yet another example of how much he loved his car more than her, she was not allowed to smoke inside, and was forced to take one last drag before flicking her cigarette into the parking lot.

His car is not that great, she thought.

And as the butt hit the pavement in a puff of orange sparks, the girl noticed two men closing the trunk of an idling Cadillac.

She gave them no thought.

The music faded as the Torino pulled away.

* * *

A plume of white exhaust lingered in the air where the Eldorado had been. Its blinkers flashed amber when it turned right on University Street, heading uptown.

The brown van lingered behind a few minutes while the skinhead made sure that no one had followed. Adjusting the rearview mirror, he admired the padlock securing the chain around his neck. He knew exactly what was expected of him tonight, and he was ready to make sure it happened.

Five minutes later, the van left the theater. The parking lot was as quiet as an empty movie set.

* * *

The next day, while red and blue police lights flashed in front of the old Beekman Place Hotel, the officers down the street at the Landmark unlocked the Trans Am with ease. William Delorenzo's keys had been intentionally left in plain sight.

And they were surprisingly clean, considering the crime scene's savagery.

Chapter Two

Next Comes the Alcoholic Writer

I wish there was a way that I could feel normal without drinking. A way to stop the anxiety, you know? The tightness in my chest, and the fear of speaking my mind.

And having said that, I really wish I could write without alcohol. To sit down and type without a glass of Chardonnay ... or for those stories that really hit close to home, a big tumbler of whiskey with an ice-to-liquid ratio that could take down a horse, if used in different circumstances.

Of course it's not my fault, you know.

Not the drinking itself, but the whole writng stereotype we all see on TV.

I mean, whenever we see a character writing a book, he's always depicted at a small wooden desk, with a lamp, a cigarette, a bottle and a glass. It always seems to be night. The writer is always good looking, in a scruffy sort of way. But even more important, the writer types with a fierce look of confidence, smiling when he's finished, and toasting himself at the end.

For me though, the story can't even begin until I have a buzz going ...

Peoria, Illinois Twenty-Seven Years Later

The old Cadillac's hood ornament bounced up and down like a buoy, exaggerating the potholes' severity and confirming this was not a good place for 27-year-old air suspension. This stretch of Roanoke Avenue was still paved with bricks, and Frankie never understood why the city hadn't covered the surface with concrete as they had done to all the other streets this close to downtown.

Easy Olivia, Frankie thought. There's no other road to take.

From above, the old trees reached over the street like fingers, obscuring the road in an arthritic canopy of yellow, orange, red, and crisp green. The steep angled attics of the old Roanoke homes marked his progress like watchtowers, looming over his car from high above the street. With the exception of clouds to the north, the October sky was icicle blue.

Inside the car, the damp autumn air felt colder than it really was. Frankie inhaled deeply, taking in the musky aroma of wood and wet earth. After a quick glance over his shoulder, he polished off the last of his flask before stashing it under the seat. His dashboard clock read 11:23, and every so often the sun would break through just long enough to warm his shoulders through the open sunroof. In a few short weeks, it would be too chilly to drive with the windows open at all. It was already too cold in Chicago, and Frankie was amazed at what a difference a mere three hours' drive had made in the weather.

A yellow leaf fluttered through his sunroof.

* * *

He had been away from Chicago only a little over four hours now, and already he missed her skyline's reflection on the cold, choppy water of Lake Michigan. Though Frankie had actually grown up in Peoria, he'd left there in 1996 when he reached his mid-twenties. Peoria was a quaint little town with an air of stability that was perfect for a wife and kids: good schools, clean roads, subdivisions with homeowners' associations. It was more a place to raise a family than a home for a single, 38-year-old gay man who had always been a city boy at heart.


Excerpted from GOODBYE TO BEEKMAN PLACE by DAVID ALAN DEDIN Copyright © 2013 by David Alan Dedin. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews