Paradise Cove, the latest mystery by Davin Goodwin
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Every day is paradise on Bonaire—until something unexpected washes ashore
On the laid-back island of Bonaire, every day is paradise until a seaweed-entangled human leg washes ashore. Combing the beach, retired cop Roscoe Conklin examines the scene and quickly determines that the leg belongs to the nephew of a close friend.
The island police launch an investigation, but with little evidence and no suspects, their progress comes to a frustrating halt. Then, thanks to a unique barter with the lead detective, Conklin finds himself in possession of the case file. He can now aggressively probe for his own answers.
Sifting through the scant clues, eager to bring the killer to justice, Conklin struggles to maintain forward momentum. He has all the pieces. He can feel it. But he’d better get them snapped together soon.
Otherwise, the body count will continue to rise.
To purchase Paradise Cove, click on any of the following links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1608094855 (ISBN13: 9781608094851)
Series: Roscoe Conklin Mystery #2 | The novels in the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order.
Guest Post by Paradise Cove Author Davin Goodwin
Love and Clear Vision
My wife, and best dive buddy ever, Leslie came out of the bedroom of the condo, unit C7 at Sanddollar on Bonaire. She carried my Aga face mask. Smiling, I could tell she fought hard to contain herself, on the verge of laughter.
I used to call her Lovely Leslie, but years ago shortened it to simply Double L.
“Here,” she said, extending an arm, offering me the mask—my mask. “Let me know if the visibility is any better.” Her self-restraint failed and she broke out in laughter.
I had purchased the Aga full face mask brand new before this trip. To protect the visor during shipping and handling, the manufacture attached a thin plastic sheath to the outside. I peeled the sheathing off the visor before our first dive.
However, I didn’t realize the manufacturer also attached the same type of protective layer to the inside of the visor. In summary, I’d been diving with a thin layer of plastic across the inside of my visor. After soaking and rinsing my mask that day’s diving, Leslie noticed the plastic and peeled it off.
I studied the visor. It sparkled in the sunlight, free from the plastic encumbrance that had apparently plagued my visibility for the last eleven or twelve days and 26+ dives. I couldn’t wait to experience the difference underwater.
What can I say?
Again, I’m reminded that I’d be lost without Double L.
The next day, sporting an unrestricted, visibility-uninhibited visor, Les and I went back and dove the Aquarius dive site again, hoping to snap some pictures of the free-swimming green morays. Didn’t happen, though. They never appeared.
But we did find a large baitball, which we spent a considerable amount of time exploring, swimming through, and watching. Then we came across a squadron of squid, followed by a large rainbow parrot fish. Then, to top off the dive, we swam with a spotted eagle ray.
All of this on just one dive. And we never went deeper than 25 feet, most of the dive actually being between 15 and 20 feet.
Just goes to prove that depth isn’t the determining factor. Tons of things happen in the shallows, especially at a spot like Aquarius where there’s a healthy amount of coral and activity in less than 20 feet of depth.
Upon exiting the Aquarius dive, Leslie asked, a malicious smile creeping across her face, “How was the visibility?”
I knew what she trolled for, but instead responded, “It was good.”
She cocked her head. “Only good?”
I walked over to her. “Best visibility I’ve had on this trip.” I pecked her on the lips. “Thanks to you.”
Like I said, I’d be lost without her.
Excerpt from Paradise Cove
Finished with my morning swim, having pushed myself hard the last quarter mile, I sat on the end of the pier with my legs dangling over the edge. No clouds in the typical Caribbean-blue Bonaire sky and a faint hint of salt floated in the air. The wind shoved waves, larger than normal, against the shore.
An iguana lay a few feet away, basking in the sun, overweight from gorging itself on the remnants of the near-by garbage can. It sat motionless, one eye tilted in my direction, the other skewed over the edge of the pier at the water. It was a resident of the area and joined me regularly on the pier after my swims.
I had taken to calling it Charlie.
As I towel-dried my arms and hair, I noticed two teenaged boys using a stick to poke at an object near the water’s edge, a stone’s throw south of the pier. The object had washed ashore and was covered with random strands of dark seaweed.
I watched the boys take a few steps forward, jab the stick at the object, then retreat, as if expecting something to happen. Nothing did, so they repeated the process several times with the same result.
Some younger children ventured forth, staying well behind the brave teenagers. Wide-eyed, high-pitched streams of Papiamento—the native language of Bonaire—filled the air as they half-talked, half-screamed. They gawked at the object, the raced back up the beach to their mothers, sitting on beach blankets.
One mother stood, nodding her head, and, appeasing the child, walked toward the water. She stopped a few feet shy of the shore. Her eyes widened and she shuffled backward to the other women, grabbed her cell phone, and, with a shaky hand, put it to her ear. She pointed at the object and spoke, her Papiamento not as high-pitched as the child’s, but every bit as excited. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand a word they said, my Papiamento being only slightly better than my Klingon.
The base of my neck tingled.
I no longer carried a badge, but nearly three decades as a law enforcement officer, specifically with the Violent Crimes Division of the Rockford, Illinois, police department, had trained my curiosity to remain on high alert. Of the hundreds of traits, quirks, and ticks conditioned into my psyche during those years, the sense of inquisitiveness, along with a constant need to know and understand, were the most deeply engrained.
I shook my head, stood, and walked down the pier to the beach. This was something I probably needed to see.
My sudden movement startled Charlie and he darted to the other side of the pier, both eyes now pointed in my direction. I gave him a shallow wave. “Sorry, Charlie.”
The water surface on the west side—or leeward side—of the island remained consistently flat, almost glasslike, aided by a solid wind from the east. The wind also swept most of the seaweed, litter, and other debris out to sea. Few items floated ashore on the leeward coast of Bonaire.
Davin Goodwin is a graduate of Arkansas State University and works in the technology industry.
He’s been a small business owner, a real estate investor, an aerial photographer and flight instructor, a semi-professional banjo player, and a scuba diver, often seen on the island of Bonaire.
Paradise Cove is the second novel in his Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series and he intends to continue writing the Roscoe Conklin series set on Bonaire. Goodwin lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Leslie.
To learn more about Davin, click on any of the following links: DavinGoodwinAuthor.com, Goodreads, BookBub – @dgoodwin7757, Instagram – @davin_goodwin_author & Facebook – @authordavingoodwin
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Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020