Today I’m delighted to be on the Blog Tour for the new novel by Rod Reynolds, Cold Desert Sky and to be able to share an extract with you.
Cold Desert Sky is set in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas in 1946. Journalist Charlie Yates and his wife Lizzie are hiding out in motels on the run from gangster Benjamin Siegel. Rather than just move away Yates is determined to stay until he has found out what happened to two missing girls. Nancy and Julie were both aspiring actresses who have been missing for days and Yates has become obsessed with finding them.
Cold Desert Sky is a very atmospheric novel, evoking a real sense of 1940’s American noir. The book tells of cities that are dark and dangerous, filled with gangsters and seedy bars. The story itself is fascinating, with twists and turns that just keep coming throwing the story backwards and forwards across the two cities. This is the third novel from Rod that features the character of Charlie Yates. Although it is the first one I’ve read it won’t be the last. To find out more read on for an extract from chapter one which follows the extract you can find at Bibliophile Bookclub’s blog: https://bibliophilebookclub.com/
Cold Desert Sky by Rod Reynolds – extract
‘Have a seat.’
He glanced around as if looking for his real guest, then slid down the backrest, realisation dawning. ‘You a gumshoe now, or am I a mark?’
‘How’ve you been, Whitey?’
‘Better than you, what I hear.’
I sat back, a glance over his shoulder, wrong-footed by the remark. ‘And what’s that?’
‘You don’t need me to tell you. It’s on your face.’
‘Make like I’m dumb.’
‘You must be. Being in town when he’s looking for you.’
I shrugged. ‘I’m not a hard man to find.’
‘You ought to reconsider that.’
I traced a line across the table. ‘I didn’t come here to talk about Bugsy Siegel.’
‘No?’ He showed real surprise. ‘Hard to believe you got bigger troubles.’
‘How’s your luck with the horses?’
He set his cup down on the Formica. ‘Some days are better than others.’
I took my money clip out – two tens and a twenty wrapped around a wad of ones to pad the roll. ‘I’m looking for information on a couple women. Hollywood-dreamer types.’
He made a point of not looking at the cash, a stool pigeon in a fraying suit clinging to the remnants of his pride. ‘I don’t know Hollywood from dirt.’
‘They were fresh off the bus. They were living in a boarding house in Leimert Park. Nancy Hill and Julie Desjardins.’
He half-smiled. ‘Julie Desjardins from Kansas – sure. Real names?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘These are the missing dames your woman called me about?’ I nodded. ‘They’ve been gone more than a week.’
‘Were they turning tricks?’
My arms tensed.
‘What?’ he said. ‘How else would I hear anything about a couple starlets?’
I closed my eyes and flattened my free hand on the table again. The question was a fair one. ‘The names mean anything to you or not?’
‘Not. But you must’ve figured that, so my guess is you want me to ask around.’
I peeled a ten off.
He shook his head, held up two fingers. I breathed out through my nose and peeled the other one off.
To read more don’t forget to visit the other stops of the blog tour.