PI John Keegan series #2
A reclusive millionaire hires PI Jim Keegan to look after her interests, she is currently hidden away at the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel. All Keegan has to do is humour her, keep her important papers in his office safe, and make weekly checks of her LA properties. but within a week she goes missing. Keegan suspects her ne’er-do-well young nephew of murder—but all the evidence he can find is circumstantial, and there’s a good chance the kid will get away scot free.
First part of Chapter 1
Keegan pulled off Wilshire into the north parking garage of the Ambassador Hotel. It was a Thursday night, coming on
eight o’clock, so there were only a couple of cars in front of him waiting for a valet. That was a good sign, in his opinion; the Cocoanut Grove wouldn’t be too crowded. The place had never appealed to Keegan. It was too kitschy—all those fake palms and the gaudy red bunting and the hopeful tourists craning their necks to see who was coming in through the door. It was old Hollywood at its seediest: overwrought, caked with makeup, and ready for its close-up.
But he couldn’t avoid tonight’s gathering, much as he would have liked to. The party was a send-off. Old Mike
Donovan was pulling up stakes and moving out to Arizona. Donovan was one of Keegan’s old cronies, so here Keegan
was. Sure, he was arriving at the party more than an hour late, but that was his prerogative.
When he got to the front of the line of cars, he put his MG in neutral, pulled up the parking brake, and left it running.
He grabbed his herringbone blazer from the passenger seat as the young valet jogged over. Keegan got out of the car,
straightened up, and pulled on the jacket. The valet tore off the ticket stub and handed it to Keegan, then he tucked the other half under the windshield wiper.
Keegan slipped the stub into the inside pocket of his jacket. He could hear distant orchestra music carried to him on the cool late-September air. The tune was something sultry and sleepy, a slow-dance number. The valet got in the car and put it in gear.
Keegan rapped on the window. “Hang on,” he told the valet. “I forgot something.” He went behind the car and
popped the trunk. The new putter was angled across the spare tire and the rusty jack. It was a Wilson club; the best one he could find without having to go too far out of his way. Mrs. Dodd, Keegan’s secretary, had wanted the gift to look a little more festive, so she’d insisted on tying a red ribbon around the shaft before Keegan left the office that night.
Mrs. Dodd had seemed a little too happy to hear that Keegan was finally spending a night out. She was of the
opinion that Keegan would be in a better mood if he had more of a social life. In her unsolicited opinion, it wasn’t natural for a man Keegan’s age—fifty-four—to stay holed up in his hilltop bungalow every night of the week. It was too remote, too lonely. He needed to get out more, make a few new pals, maybe find himself a girlfriend. Her enthusiasm when he’d told her he was going to Donovan’s send-off party had made
him wish he’d never told her.
Mrs. Dodd’s bow was a little squashed down on one side now—but Donovan wasn’t the type for frills. The gift would
do nicely. He grabbed the club, slammed the trunk, and headed towards the hotel carrying the putter tucked under one arm.
There had been a time—about a decade ago—when Keegan would have called Donovan a friend. Maybe even a
good friend. For years, Keegan had covered the crime beat for the Los Angeles Times. But—long story short—he got fired and had to come up with a new career. He applied for his PI license. A month or so after that, Donovan’s pension maxed out at the LAPD, and he retired as vice detective. The two of them had been little more than acquaintances
up until then—the cop and the crime reporter. Donovan, a middling detective at best, had never rated much column
space, and Keegan had rarely written about him. But in those uncertain months of fresh unemployment, neither man
quite knew what to do with himself. They’d spent a lot of time together: afternoons at the Santa Anita Park racetrack,
a couple of fishing trips to Arrowhead, too many nights sipping bourbon at the downtown dives on West Fifth Street.
But then things had begun to fall into place. Both of them got their PI licenses. They were working men again, and
Thank you, Paul Buchanan and Legend Press
About the author
Paul Buchanan earned a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and an MFA in fiction writing from Chapman University. He teaches and writes in the Los Angeles area.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Valley-Shadows-Pi-John-Keegan/dp/1800319398/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2VWZAARNQH0UI&dchild=1&keywords=valley+of+shadows+paul+buchanan&qid=1626244344&sprefix=valley+of+shadows+pau%2Cdigital-text%2C165&sr=8-1