August in the Midwest. A muggy morning in Des Moines. A cyclist turns up dead outside the central transit station, and the real heat is on.
Detective Red Shaw and his partner, Phil Vega, are on the scene early but hardly at their best. Shaw had recently outsmarted a murderous sociopath who almost killed him, and he’s still hobbled by a knee injury from their final confrontation. It’s Vega’s first day back after breaking his leg in a car wreck.
Zach Costa died wearing cleated cycling shoes. Dried blood from a head wound and a trace of white powder near his feet tell the cops part of the story, and there’s no sign of his vintage Schwinn racing bike. A simple robbery gone wrong? With the victim’s body hidden in a storage locker?
Shaw and Vega soon find themselves probing the sometimes toxic, hyper-competitive world of amateur bicycle racing. What they find is a tangled web of cryptic social media messaging, stolen property, drug trafficking, and murder.
About the Author
B.J. Smith writes fiction, essays, poetry and technical prose. As a daily newspaper reporter, he covered education, police and courthouse beats at various times. He also edited nationally syndicated opinion, health and home-repair columns, and proofread crossword puzzles (a task that inspired his first crime novel, by the way). A cyclist, hiker, University of Iowa grad, U.S. Navy veteran, former PR guy – and onetime soda jerk, busboy and dishwasher – he publishes a blog at https://smithcompound.blog. He and his wife, Susan, live in Longmont, Colorado. They enjoy bicycling, hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains.