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White Heat (P.I. Duke Rogers Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Paul D. Marks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

He had to make things right... He had to find the killer.

P.I. Duke Rogers finds himself in a combustible situation in this racially charged thriller. His case might have to wait... The immediate problem: getting out of South Central Los Angeles in one piece during the 1992 "Rodney King" riots and that's just the beginning of his problems.


For a quick couple hundred bucks, private investigator Duke Rogers finds an old "friend" for a client.

The client's "friend," an up and coming African-American actress, is brutally murdered. Duke knows his client did it. And he knows he helped, however unwittingly.

Wracked with guilt, Duke must find the killer.

His mission begins with a trip to the dead actress' family in South Central L.A. – just as the "Rodney King" riots ignite.

While Duke tracks down the killer he must also deal with the racism of his partner, Jack, and from Warren, the dead actress' brother.

And he must also confront his own possible latent racism – even as he's in an interracial relationship with the murder victim's sister.

Relentlessly pursuing the case, Duke's mission takes him from L.A. to Calexico on the Mexican border, up to Reno, Nevada and back to L.A. Along the way he crosses paths with gang bangers, hoods and thugs of all stripes in his quest to find the killer and find redemption for himself before coming to the volatile and poignant conclusion.


WHITE HEAT – CHAPTER 1 (EXCERPT):

My father always said I was a fuckup, that the only reason we get along is 'cause he keeps his mouth shut. Maybe he's right:

I fucked up high school.

Fucked up college.

Fucked up my marriage.

Fucked up my life by leaving the service.

And now I've fucked up a case.

Fucked it up real bad.

Teddie Matson was different. She had a golden life, until her path had the misfortune of crossing mine. I sat staring out the window of my office, k.d. lang playing in the background. It was a while till the sun would set, that golden hour when everything takes on a gilded glow.

Golden hour is the time when the light hits just right in the early morning or late afternoon. The time when movie cinematographers most like to shoot. The light is tawny and warm. Gentle. It makes the stars shine brighter.

Golden hour is the time when Teddie Matson was killed.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

White Heat is a "...taut crime yarn set in 1992 against the turmoil of the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers charged with assaulting motorist Rodney King.... the author ably evokes the chaos that erupted after the Rodney King verdict."

Review

"White Heat" is a riveting read of mystery, much recommended.
--Midwest Book Review

"[White Heat] really caught early 90s LA, in all its sordid glory. And had me turning me pages late into the night. I think WH is up there with the best of the LA novels, but has an air authenticity that many lack. Look forward to reading Broken Windows."
--Woody Haut, journalist, author of Neon Noir (Contemporary American Crime Fiction), Pulp Culture (Hardboiled Fiction & the Cold War), Heartbreak and Vine (The Fate of Hardboiled Writers in Hollywood)

"Expect the unexpected...in an action-walloping award-winner of harrowing twists and turns..."
--Gordon Hauptfleisch - Seattle Post Intelligencer and BlogCritics.org

"A gripping tale of prejudice and deceit, set against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1992 L.A. riots. White Heat is all the title promises it to be."
--Darrell James, award-winning author of Nazareth Child

"Written in a staccato, noir style as intense as the 1992 L.A. riots, White Heat is a stunning debut novel by L.A. native Paul Marks. It grabs you with the intensity of the riots and keeps the anxiety and tension pushing full-throttle right up to the bittersweet ending. Heat is a hard-hitting, noir detective thriller, that also deals with tough issues like racism, the diversity of racism, and the human condition."
--Andrew McAleer, best-selling author of The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists and Fatal Deeds

"The plot was interesting, and full of twists and turns... The characters' interactions, mannerisms, and dialogue also felt realistic. I fell in love with Duke, Jack, and Rita. I also loved Teddie, even though we never met her alive."
--ElizabethBarone.net

Product Details

  • File Size: 2064 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 098507602X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Timeless Skies Publishing (May 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007SIR8QG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,743 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
It's 1992 and the decision on the Rodney King case is about to become public.

In this noir novel, P.I. Duke Rogers gets a woman's address for a new client who said he was searching for a classmate. Then Duke learns that the so called classmate was a black TV star and the client was a crazed fan who murdered her.

Morally, Duke feels that he must find the man who murdered the actress, Teddie Matson. Duke begins asking questions but becomes involved in the heated racial tensions of East Los Angeles.

When Duke gets to the business of where the brother of the actress worked, the Rodney King decision was announced and the riots began. In a very descriptive part of the story, we witness the racial hatred toward whites, Koreans and any for any form of authority. People are looting and fires are set for anything that will catch fire. Duke becomes threatened but is protected by a kindly, large black man, nicknamed Tiny.

There is a secondary story about a woman named Laurie who is being hounded by a stalker. In her case, the bothersome man is becoming more brazen and, with the riots, the police have their hands full. Not knowing what to do, she turns to Duke for help.

The story is interesting but I would have liked more character development. I never got to know Teddie or much about Laurie in order to develop a sense of sympathy for their situation. In addition, I wondered where Duke's finances were since he was doing all of this work without being paid.

The dialogue is well done and I think fans of Elmore Leonard and Lawrence Block would enjoy this novel but I also would have liked to learn more from some of the black characters as to why they felt such dislike for anyone in authority.

I did find the story entertaining and look forward to reading more from Paul D. Marks.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRAUGHT WITH DETAIL AND EMOTION April 12, 2012
By RJPP
Format:Kindle Edition
WHITE HEAT BY AUTHOR PAUL D. MARKS is in a word, 'Intense'. This is a well-written book that's gripping, captivating and brings back memories of a bad time in L.A.

The setting starts with the day the verdict was announced in the beating of Rodney King in April 1992, and the subsequent days after.

Ex-Navy SEAL turned Private-Eye Duke Rogers, is in his office when a man comes in and asks Duke to find a missing person for him. Duke knows it's an easy $250 and a phone call to trace the woman. He didn't know that he would be writing the death sentence for her. The next day, he finds out that the young woman/actress was shot to death. With the guilt eating at him, Duke sets out to find his client/killer. Getting around L.A. isn't easy when half the city is burning, and riots galore. Over the next several days, he searches for who he now calls the 'Weasel', and has to fight off gangs and racial enemies.

This book is packed with action, suspense, a dab of humor at times, and basically all the ingredients needed for a great read. I highly recommend it and look forward to the next installment of Duke Rogers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!!! April 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Not hard to tell White Heat is an award winning book. This author created a brilliant story that is so well-written with a great plot. It is packed with suspense, mystery and thrills. The characters are real and likeable. I only wish that I could give it more stars. Great story Mr. Marks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang on tight for a white knuckle read! April 17, 2012
By M2
Format:Paperback
Paul D. Marks' debut novel "White Heat" couldn't be better titled, since it burns like a phosphorous bomb, illuminating the mean streets of Los Angeles at a time when they were at their meanest, rawest and most incendiary: during the 1992 riots that tore the city apart after the Rodney King beating verdict. Those of us who lived through that time remember the wounds all too well, and, like the characters in this staggeringly-assured first novel, remain conflicted as to who should actually be blamed for inflicting them. What may be even more remarkable than Marks' evocation of one of LA's most challenging moments is his creation of that rarest of avises, a wholly original P.I. protagonist, in the form of Marion "Duke" Rogers, a former Navy SEAL who struggles to maintain his honor despite a near-crippling guilt complex. If that weren't enough, the author manages to propel his flawed hero into his dangerous, duty-bound quest through one of the most ingenious motives I can remember reading. "White Heat" is a tough, tersely-written book featuring tough, complicated, and not always lovable characters who might push many readers to the very edge of their comfort zone. But it's honest and it's real, and doesn't it doesn't pander to its audience by providing pat or phony answers to the many complex issues it raises. Marks, having already mastered the short story format, proves here that he can shoot with the best of the big guns in the long form. What's the old cliché..."Don't start what you can't finish"? Well, that's good advice to the reader, who should be warned that once you start reading this searing, driving novel, you will be compelled to finish it in one long, satisfying gulp.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive, Visual, Dynamite and Totally Noir April 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
White Heat written by Paul D. Marks explodes on the page.

Days before the verdict is read in the Rodney King Case in Los Angeles back in the 1992, a weasely little man walks into private detective Duke Rogers office and asks him to locate an old friend, Teddie Matson. The guy is white and Teddie is black, and Los Angeles is just about ready to explode due to racial tensions, but Duke isn't thinking about that, just the $250 he'll make on the easy case.

A few days later Teddie Matson is murdered and Duke's guilt meter is through the roof. Turns out Teddie was a well-known TV actress with her own show. This doesn't make checking into her death any easier.

But there are a lot more reasons hunting down her killer is going to be a lot more difficult. First, the verdict is in on the Rodney King Case and Los Angeles is going up in flames. The area hardest hit is right where Teddie's family lives. And Duke, being a white man, isn't wanted in South Central L.A.

Teddie's mother doesn't chew his head off when he makes inquiries, but Teddie's brother has been schooled in hating whitey and he would rather beat Duke up than talk to him.

But there is another guy, Tiny, a friend of the family, who is a little easier to talk to. Tiny gets beaten to a pulp for just talking with Duke. The rules are strict in South Central and you better play by them.

But Duke doesn't play games. He gets Tiny to a hospital and heads back into the pit to find the killer. Along the way he discovers that another young woman was stalked by somebody a while back and the pattern sounds awfully familiar.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Wow! for Marks!
Wow!!!! Another great read from the master of Los Angeles noir! Marks takes us into the depths of the bad side of town and spits us out again on the other side of action. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Sally Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is black and white in this story.
Duke Rogers, a complex private detective trying to lead a simple life, is caught in a quagmire between black and white, right and wrong. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark W. Danielson
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic L.A. novel with a memorable P.I.
A terrific L.A. novel featuring a classic, tough-guy private investigator, Duke Rogers. It's set in Los Angeles in 1992 right when the city exploded during the "Rodney... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dianne Emley
4.0 out of 5 stars One act turns deadly
White Heat is the brutally biting debut novel of author Paul D. Marks that pulls no punches as he introduces his ex-Navy SEAL and currently independent Private Investigator Marion... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen M. Jund
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Just finished White Heat, and it's easy to see why it won the Shamus Award. Wow, great story, great writing, could not put it down. Read more
Published 4 months ago by the landscaper
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked this a whole lot
I worked at USC during the period of time Marks writes about, and right in the midst of the area that blew up on the announcement of the Rodney King verdict. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mar Preston
3.0 out of 5 stars White Heat
I found this book just OK................Started off pretty good but
went downhill and the story seemed to stutter and was hard
to get interested in it... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sis
2.0 out of 5 stars Duke is an enjoyable character.
I'm just not a fan of (spoiler alert) mysteries that the bad guy is known early in the book. I liked Duke, flawed and knows it. Enjoyed it in spite of the genre.
Published 4 months ago by Daniel Grise
5.0 out of 5 stars White Heat in a dark world.
If you fill pages with lists of tortured, tragic thoughts popping in your main character’s mind, you better do it right; do it so the reader who sees all this man-on-the-edge stuff... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Clark Lohr
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written,
Although I caught myself breezing over some sections (lists actually), I actually enjoyed the book immensely. His short stories are also great.
Published 7 months ago by ca-cjs
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More About the Author

WHITE HEAT won the 2013 SHAMUS AWARD from the Private Eye Writers of America. Other nominees in various categories include Robert Crais, Jeffrey Deaver, Ace Atkins, Hank Phillippi Ryan, to name a few.

WHITE HEAT CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE BEST FICTION BOOKS OF 2012: Rosa St. Claire at Examiner.com just named White Heat one of the best fiction books of 2012, along with Megan Abbott's Dare Me, Blind Night by Michael W. Sherer, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson, The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, etc. (examiner.com/review/best-fiction-books-of-2012-and-new-titles-for-2013)

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY says: WHITE HEAT is a "...taut crime yarn set in 1992 against the turmoil of the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the police officers charged with assaulting motorist Rodney King.... the author ably evokes the chaos that erupted after the Rodney King verdict."WHITE HEAT begins where the "Rodney King" riots leave off. Recently released, it hit Number 1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases list. Available in both Kindle and paperback versions.

"WHITE HEAT BY AUTHOR PAUL D. MARKS is in a word, 'Intense'. This is a well-written book that's gripping, captivating and brings back memories of a bad time in L.A." - RJ Parker, True Crime Author, "Top Reviewer/Author"

"A gripping tale of prejudice and deceit, set against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1992 L.A. riots. White Heat is all the title promises it to be." - Darrell James, award-winning author of "Nazareth Child"

"The plot was interesting, and full of twists and turns. Duke's investigation felt realistic... The characters' interactions, mannerisms, and dialogue also felt realistic. I fell in love with Duke, Jack, and Rita. I also loved Teddie, even though we never met her alive." - Elizabeth Barone/Elizabeth Barone Reviews

"White Heat written by Paul D. Marks explodes on the page." - Gayle Bartos-Pool

"'White Heat' is a tough, tersely-written book featuring tough, complicated, and not always lovable characters who might push many readers to the very edge of their comfort zone. But it's honest and it's real, and it doesn't pander to its audience by providing pat or phony answers to the many complex issues it raises." - M2


"Written in a staccato, noir style as intense as the 1992 L.A. riots, White Heat is a stunning debut novel by L.A. native Paul Marks. It grabs you with the intensity of the riots and keeps the anxiety and tension pushing full-throttle right up to the bittersweet ending. Heat is a hard-hitting, noir detective thriller, that also deals with tough issues like racism, the diversity of racism, and the human condition. " - Andrew McAleer, best-selling author of The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists and Fatal Deeds


About the Author

Paul D. Marks is the author of over thirty published short stories, including several award winners:

* Endless Vacation received Honorable Mentions in the Glimmer Train
Very Short Fiction Competition and the prestigious Lorian Hemingway
International Short Story Competition.

* His novel White Heat took second place in the Mystery-Suspense-
Thriller-Adventure category of the SouthWest Writers Annual
Writing Contest.

* Netiquette won First Place in the Futures Short Story Contest.

* Dem Bones was a finalist in the Southern Writers Association Contest.

* Poison Heart was a finalist in the Deadly Ink Competition and
appears in their 2010 Short Story Collection.

A Los Angeles native, Paul loves the city that LA was. Dodging bullets he's not so sure about the city it is today. Of course, he's one of the few people to have pulled a gun on the LAPD and lived to tell about it - see the story on his website: www.PaulDMarks.com

His stories run the gamut from serious fiction to mystery and satire. Continental Tilt is the lead story in the Murder in La-La Land anthology. Almost, Almost Famous appears in Mysterical E. His story Terminal Island appears in Weber: The Contemporary West. His stories have also appeared in The Story Teller, Penny-A-Liner, Dave Zeltserman's lauded HardLuck Stories webzine and Futures magazine, as well as the anthologies Fiction on the Run, Murder on Sunset Boulevard, Dime and others. For a complete list see his website.

Paul is one of the last, if not the last person, to have shot a film on the famous MGM backlot before it was torn down. According to Steven Bingen, one of the authors of the well-received book MGM: HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST BACKLOT: "That 40 page chronological list I mentioned of films shot at the studio ends with his [Paul D. Marks'] name on it."

Bobby Saxon, the unique, recurring character, who has appeared in three of Paul's published stories - Sleepy Lagoon Nocturne, from the Landmarked for Murder anthology, The Good Old Days, which appears in the Murder Across the Map anthology, and Santa Claus Blues, from Futures Magazine - is the protagonist of his novel-in-progress The Blues Don't Care.

Paul studied with award winning novelist T. Coraghessan Boyle. His former day job was as a screenplay "script doctor". He has also published many non-fiction articles in various newspapers and magazines and has lectured on writing at UCLA, Cal State San Bernardino, Learning Tree, as well as various writers' organizations. He can be reached through his blog: http://pauldmarks.blogspot.com/ or website: www.PaulDMarks.com

Facebook: If you like Paul's books, please friend him on Facebook: facebook.com/paul.d.marks

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