Combustion by Martin J. Smith

This was a very good suspense novel. I had some trouble liking any of the characters except Starke. There were many twists and turns in here. I did not expect the ending and I really thought it was good. I received a copy of this ebook from Diversion for a fair and honest opinion.

The dry season has hit the Inland Empire of California, depleting the ponds and revealing the muddy grave of Paul Dwyer. From his mansion on the hill, Dwyer lorded over the Los Colmas, a small town that he aspired to make big by building mansion for wealthy LA commuters. Some viewed him as a savior, providing construction jobs for locals. Others believed he was ruining their beautiful, close-knit town. But who was angry enough to murder him?
Local cop Ron Starke is overwhelmed by the list of suspects and plagued by a difficult captain who is demanding results. Starke investigates Paul Dwyer’s dirty money and handshake deals gone wrong, but the name at the top of suspect list is the most intriguing, and chilling. 
The developer wasn’t the only one with secrets; his widow Shelby has kept her own for decades, none more harrowing than the horrific abuse she and her daughter endured at the hands of Dwyer. And none more volatile than what she knows but must hide about Paul’s murder. 
As the season’s wildfires intensify to historic levels and surge towards Los Colmas, Starke must discover who killed Dwyer before all the evidence burns and the whole town is erased. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Martin J. Smith is a veteran journalist, author, and magazine editor who has won more than fifty newspaper and magazine awards. A former senior editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he currently is editor-in-chief of Orange Coast magazine in Orange County, CA. His first novel, Time Release, was nominated for an Anthony Award. His third novel, Straw Men, was a finalist for both the Barry Award and the Edgar Award. He also is the author of three nonfiction books, including The Wild Duck Chase, Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America, and Oops: 20 Life Lessons Form the Fiascoes That Shaped America. Visit him online at http://www.matinjsmith.com. 

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