DEEP SIX, the first in my new Jake Longly comedic thriller series, launches on July 5, 2016. Pre-Order your copy today from your local indie bookstore or from:
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DEEP SIX:
We all know Lyle’s erudition and expertise – but who knew he was this funny?
Lee Child, NY Times Best Selling Author
Corruption, vendettas, cartel killers, oh my! Deep Six puts the fun back into late night reading with this fast-paced romp through murder and mayhem. Prepare to flip the pages.
Lisa Gardner, NY Times Best-selling Author
I hate D.P. Lyle. He’s already the smartest, most generous, hardest working son of a bitch I know. Now, with Deep Six, he’s also one of the finest writers.
His wistfully dogged, romance-challenged, wisecracking hero Jake Longly calls to mind James Crumley’s C.W. Sughrue, and I can’t think of higher praise. The story is paced like a lightning strike aimed directly at the human heart. How the hell does he do that?
Read this smart, wickedly funny, extraordinary book. Then you can hate the author as much as I do.
David Corbett, Bestselling Author
D.P. Lyle returns in superb form in Deep Six. Smart, wickedly funny, expertly constructed and deftly executed, Lyle is at the top of his game as he takes his readers on a romp on the Gulf Coast that goes down as smoothly as a cold beer on a hot day at a bar next to the beach. Jake Longly is a character worth rooting for, and Lyle’s fans will be cheering for an encore. Find a comfortable chair and plan to stay up late to enjoy the ride. Highly recommended.
Sheldon Siegel. NY Times Best Selling Author of the Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez novels.
In Deep Six, gifted storyteller D.P. Lyle has crafted yet another winner. A comedic thriller that weaves through the Gulf Coast with wild abandon. This book has it all, memorable characters, a stunning plot, and as always, Lyle’s impeccable sense of place. Bravo!”
Philip Donlay, best-selling author of the Donovan Nash series
Readers will love Jake Longley – ex-big league ballplayer, beach bar owner and reluctant PI, and the sharply defined ensemble of characters in Deep Six is just as outstanding. Page turning action and knock out dialogue from a master craftsman and story teller. I devoured this one!
Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Times Best Selling Author of My Sister’s Grave
D P Lyle’s latest thriller, DEEP SIX, is the first in a new series and already I’m looking forward to the next installment. Set in Florida’s sultry west coast and peppered with quirky yet expertly-drawn characters, DEEP SIX is a fast-paced thrill ride that’s laugh-out-loud funny interspersed with white-knuckle suspense. Readers of Nelson DeMille’s John Corey series will love Jake Longley. D P Lyle’s latest, DEEP SIX, has it all: white-knuckle suspense, humor, and a wise-cracking hero that makes for a fun and thoroughly entertaining read.
Linda Castillo best-selling author of the Kate Burkholder series
A true page turner, smart and stylish, with crisp prose and a cast of colorful characters who show both humor and grit. Twists and turns a plenty, Deep Six is a terrific read!
Daniel Palmer, author of Delirious, Helpless, Stolen, and Desperate
Kudos to D.P. Lyle for the fastball pitch of a new series. Jake Longly, retired Major Leaguer and reluctant P.I., is a new voice in the thriller scene. With sharp dialogue and remarkable characters, Deep Six is something Elmore would be proud of.
Terri Nolan, author of the award nominated Birdie Keane series.
MEET JAKE LONGLY:
Jake Longly has a good life. His career as a Major League pitcher for the Texas Rangers in the rearview mirror, he now owns a successful beach-front restaurant/bar and spends most of his time chasing bikinis. A thirty-something male’s dream.
Ray, his father, sees things differently. Ex-military, ex-covert op, Ray now heads Longly Investigations and can’t understand why Jake won’t work for him. Why his son prefers wasting his time with drinking and jumping from woman to woman is a mystery to him. Their relationship had long since settled into one of tolerance, with flares of friction.
Then Ray convinces Jake to do some surveillance work for him. Watching the home of Barbara Plummer, a suspected adulteress and the wife of software and real estate mogul Henry Plummer. No sweat. Jake could sit in his vintage Mustang, sip whiskey, and watch a dark house with the best of them. Of course, he never suspects Barbara might be murdered. Right under his nose. Not to mention Barbara’s secret lover is none other than attorney Walter Horton, Jake’s ex-wife’s current husband.
This launches Jake and his latest female companion Nicole Jemison, screenwriter and daughter of a Hollywood A-List director, on the trail of the killer, or killers. Husband Henry Plummer? Lover Walter Horton? Someone with a vendetta against either Walter or Henry? If it were only that simple.
Jake and Nicole find themselves locking horns with Victor Borkov, a man of many vices and even more criminal enterprises, who will do what’s necessary to protect his empire. A man who uses and discards people without hesitation and who has no reservations about deep sixing enemies from the Sea Witch, his floating palace.
This story navigates through big money corruption, crimes and misdemeanors, cartel killers, and too many murders to keep score, even with a spreadsheet. Jake and Nicole find themselves in deep water. Very deep water.
READ CHAPTER 1:
It was precisely 12:12 a.m. when the window shattered. A crack-crunch, an eardrum concussing pop, and a spray of glass shards. It didn’t explode by itself, mind you, but rather courtesy of a cavity-backed, perimeter-weighted two-hundred-dollar five iron. A Callaway. I recognized it because it was mine. Or at least it had been.
I knew the exact time because the flying glass yanked me from sleep, my forward-slumped head aligned squarely with the dashboard clock. Took a couple of seconds to gain any sort of perspective on what had happened.
Of course, sleep wasn’t part of the job. Watching the house two doors down and across the street was. In my defense, nothing had moved in the house, or even along the street that snaked through the high-dollar neighborhood, for at least a couple of hours. But sitting in the dark, behind the wheel of my car, boredom did what boredom does. Knocking back the better portion of the bottle of Knob Creek hadn’t helped either. Stakeouts were mind numbing and a little more numbing of the mind couldn’t be all bad. Right?
“Jake, what the hell are you doing?” the reason for the glass explosion screeched through the jagged hole.
This wasn’t just any window. It was vintage, the reason it shattered rather than simply spider-webbing. The original passenger window of my otherwise spotless 1965 Mustang. Burgundy with black pony interior, now littered with glass shards. Going to be a bitch to find a replacement.
Speaking of bitches, I recognized the grating voice even before I looked up into the face of my ex. Tammy’s the name; crazy’s the game. I’d lost four good years listening to it. Mostly whining and complaining, sometimes, like now, in a full-on rage. She had a knack for anger. Seemed to need it to get through the day.
She gripped the five iron with both hands, knuckles paled, cocked up above her shoulder, ready to smash something else. If history offered any lesson it was that she might graduate from the side window to the windshield and so on until she got to me. Tammy didn’t have brakes. Or a reverse gear.
Cute according to everyone, except maybe me, she was a beach-blond with bright blue eyes, a magic smile, and a perfect nose. Some plastic surgeons were gifted. Expensive, but gifted. I knew. I’d paid for the nose.
But cute Tammy had a short fuse. She could go from zero to C4 in a nanosecond.
“Funny, I was just fixing to ask you the same thing?” I said.
Still shaking the cobwebs loose and trying to get oriented to person, place, and situation, I managed to get the characters involved sorted out pretty quickly. Staring at a cocked five iron in the hands of your ex-wife will do that. The place came along in short order. Peppermill Road. A loop off Perdido Beach Boulevard that arched through The Point, a megabuck enclave nestled into another expensive enclave known as Perdidio Beach. Very high up the financial food chain, The Point was a row of seven-figure, stilted homes that hung off Peppermill like charms on a bracelet, each facing the Gulf over a wide sugary beach.
Okay. Two down, one to go.
Person, check. Place, check. It was the situation I struggled with.
“Why are you parked in front of my house?” she asked, chin jutted forward, eyes flashing that anger I knew so well.
Well, there was that.
“I’m not. I’m parked across the street.”
The five iron cocked another couple of inches. Her knuckles whitened even more and her pilate-pumped forearms tensed. “Don’t mess with me, Jake. Why the hell are you here?”
“Is that my five iron?”
Tammy’s face flushed and the rage that rose up in her chest was almost palpable. I knew I could be infuriating, could push her buttons like no one else. Lord knows she had told me often enough. Truth was I did sort of enjoy it. She actually was cute when she was mad. Dangerous, but cute.
That little vein that ran down the middle of her forehead expanded as she spun, switching to lefty, and shattered the Mustang’s small rear passenger window. Also original. Probably even harder to replace.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s wrong with you?” I was smart enough not to add “other than the usual,” but it did cross my mind. Did I mention the woman never could find her own brake pedal?
She pointed the five iron at my face. “Why are you spying on me?”
I now noticed that she was wearing black sweat pants and a cropped pink t-shirt, exposing her tight belly. She would be hot if she weren’t so insane. I’d married the hotness, and divorced the insanity.
I began brushing glass snow from my shirt and shaking it from my hair. “I’m not.”
“Really? You going to go with that?” At least she had lowered the five iron. “You’re parked across from my home, clear view of my living room, and you have your pervert glasses with you.” She nodded toward the binoculars on the passenger’s seat. They were also frosted with shattered glass.
“Night vision. I need them for my work.”
“Work?” She didn’t even make a feeble attempt to cover the sarcasm in her voice.
“I’m on a case. For Ray.”
“Just great. The only person I know who makes you look smart.”
Ray, my dad, actually was smart, sometimes frighteningly so, but Tammy and Ray had never really hit it off. Ray didn’t play well with most people. Neither did Tammy. So they mixed in an oil-and-water, cat-and-dog, fire-and-ice kind of way.
“You remember him?” I said. “He’ll be happy to hear that.”
Another button pushed.
“Don’t be an ass. I tried for four years to sweep him out with the trash, but some lint you just can’t get rid of.”
I smiled. “And he always speaks so kindly of you.”
She bent forward at the waist, her eyes now level with mine. “Right. So why are you working for Ray?”
“He needed someone to do a bit of surveillance work.”
Her expression said she wasn’t buying it. Like I was lying. Can’t imagine where she got such as idea. She gave a soft snort as if to add an exclamation point. “Why not that red-headed behemoth that follows him around?”
Another snort. “Probably eating.”
“Or sleeping. He tends to do that about this time every night.”
She shook her head. Sort of a disgust shake. “And here I thought you swore you’d never work for Ray.” She shrugged. “Guess that’s like every other promise you ever made.”
“Doing a little surveillance isn’t exactly working for him.”
“Surveillance? A big word for snooping.” I started to say something insightful about collecting evidence and not snooping, but Tammy wasn’t finished. “I don’t really give a good goddamn who you snoop on as long as it’s not me.”
“Right.” She took a step back and the five iron rose again. She searched for another target. Her gaze settled on the windshield.
“Put the club down and listen.” She lowered it a notch, but her tight jaw didn’t relax an ounce. “I know most things in your world revolve around you, but this has nothing to do with you.”
Her head swiveled one way and then the other. “Who? What did they do?” She was now in full gossip mode. A Tammy staple. “I bet it’s Betsy Friedman, isn’t it?” Not waiting for a response she continued. “Is she humping someone?” She looked toward a gray house with a large fountain in front just ahead of where I was parked. “I bet she is.”
“I can’t talk about it.”
“Sure you can.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Right. All that private eye protect the client shit?”
Longly Investigations, my father’s PI outfit. Ray Longly had been a lawyer and a former FBI Special Agent and then did some kind of spook work for the Feds he would never talk about and now for the past five years a PI. Ever since he split from the alphabet soup of D.C. agencies. Or they split from him would be more accurate. Part of Ray’s “never playing well with others.”
“And your antics aren’t helping the investigation,” I said.
A quick burst of laughter escaped her collagen-plumped lips. “That’s rich. You couldn’t investigate a flat tire. You’re an idiot.”
Sort of explains the divorce, doesn’t it? Partly anyway. Before, back when I played major-league baseball, she’d thought I hung the moon. Could do no wrong. Took her to the best restaurants and nightclubs and vacations down in South Beach, sometimes Europe. Tammy loved Paris. And loved playing a Major League wife. Rubbing shoulders with big-name athletes, believing that she could be a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Truth was, she probably could. Even today at thirty-one.
But four years ago, after my career ended, after I pitched eleven innings on a cold Cleveland October night and never recovered from the rotator cuff injury that followed, and after the paychecks dwindled to nothing, she moved on. To a lawyer. The guy who owned the seven-figure, six-bedroom hunk of steel, glass, marble, and designer furniture across the street.
Circle of life on the Riviera. Not that one. The redneck one. Gulf coast style.
“If it’s not Betty, then who?” she asked.
I shook my head. “At the risk of being redundant, I can’t tell you.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“You pick. Either works for me.”
The five iron elevated again. I uncoiled my six-three frame from the car and stood, looking at her over the roof.
“Take a breath, Tammy.”
That’s when the police cruiser rolled up, settling near the curb maybe twenty feet from my Mustang. A uniformed officer stepped out, remaining behind the open door, right hand resting on the service weapon attached to his hip. He was trim and fit in his perfectly applied uniform and spoke in a calm, even voice.
“You folks want to dial it back a bit?” he said. “Maybe tell me what’s going on here?”
After the niceties and introductions, him—Officer Blake Cooper, me—Jake Longly, her—Tammy The Insane, she told her story. Amazing how it had no relationship to reality. She began slowly but quickly built momentum, telling the good officer that I was pond scum—her words—and that I was a despicable piece of crap—more of her words—and a couple of other monikers that are better left unsaid, finally stating that I was stalking her. Spying on her. In the middle of the night.
Welcome to Tammy’s world.
While she spoke, Cooper’s gaze moved over her, stopping at the most interesting parts. When he was finally able to extricate himself from all things Tammy, he looked at me. “Sir, were you spying on her?”
“If I was, I’m not sure parking in plain sight right across from her front door would be the wise choice.”
“You want to explain that?”
“Surveillance? On who?”
“Can’t say. It’s a private matter.”
Cooper walked around the door to the front of his cruiser, hand now off the gun, thumbs hooked beneath his service belt. “You live here? In the neighborhood?”
“That’s a hoot,” Tammy said. “He lives in a cardboard box behind the shopping center.”
She can be so endearing.
“No sir, I don’t. I’m on a job. For Longly Investigations.”
“You work for him?”
“He’s my father.”
Cooper nodded. “That explains a lot.”
Ray didn’t restrict himself to only the FBI shit list. He and the local gendarmes didn’t play well together either. Seems he frequently butted heads with them over one thing or another. Usually stomping on their turf. Or at least they tended to see it that way. And more often than not that was the truth of it.
Tammy jumped in. “See, I’m not the only one that thinks your father is a goof ball.”
Cooper turned her way. “Ma’am, that’s not exactly what I said.”
She shoved one fist against her hip, staring at him. “Sounded that way to me.”
Again he looked her up and down before getting back to me. “Want to tell me what this’s all about?”
Boy, did I ever. “I’m on a job. Doing surveillance work for a licensed private investigation firm. I wasn’t doing anything until she went ‘Tiger Woods’ on my car.”
“I take it you two know each other,” Cooper said. Not really a question.
“We used to be married,” I said. “Probably not hard to figure why it didn’t work out.”
Again the five iron elevated.
“Ma’am, please don’t do that,” Cooper said.
She shook her head and lowered the club. “I want him arrested.”
“I don’t think that’ll be necessary.” Cooper eyed me. “So you’re Ray Longly’s son? The baseball player?”
“Ex-baseball player,” Tammy said.
“I am,” I said.
“You were great in the day.”
“That day is long gone.” Tammy again.
Cooper took a deep breath and puffed out his cheeks as he exhaled slowly. I think he was finally beginning to realize just how difficult communication with Tammy could be. When he spoke it was calm and measured. “I got a call. One of your neighbors said there was a fight going on. Complaining about the racket.”
“So, arrest him for disturbing the peace,” Tammy said. “Or something like that.”
Cooper sighed. “I think I have a better solution. Why don’t you run on back home,” he said to Tammy. And then to me, “Maybe you should shut down your surveillance for the night.”
Tammy’s chin came up and her shoulders squared. “And get off my street.” Always the last word.
“Will do,” I said.
“Ma’am?” Cooper waved a hand toward her house.
She hesitated, turned, started across the street.
“Can I have my five iron?”
“Bite me, Jake.” She extended a middle finger skyward but never looked back as she marched across the street, up the walk, and into her house. The door slammed hard.
“That was fun,” I said.
“Want to file any charges?” Cooper asked, his head tilting toward my Mustang. “For the damages?”
“Wouldn’t do any good. Her new husband’s an attorney.”
He nodded. “I see.” He looked around. “Anything going on I should know about?”
“Not really. It’s a domestic issue.”
Again he nodded. “Not much I can do since it doesn’t seem that you broke any laws, but I’d suggest you vacate the premises.” He shrugged. “To avoid further problems.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“One question,” Cooper said. “How’d you get in here? Past the guard gate?”
“I have a nice smile.” I smiled. Cooper didn’t. “They know me.”
Cooper hesitated, then nodded and handed me his card. He climbed in his cruiser, and vacated the premises.