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Publication Date: January 19, 2023

After being invited to see Lionel Freeman’s nephew and niece compete in competitive BMX races, Clay observes a suspicious man passing envelopes to some of the youth. Clay’s curiosity is piqued and he begins pulling at loose ends that draw him ever closer to a gambling ring with tendrils coiled around kids’ sports. Following one lead to another, Clay finds himself peeling back the layers of a crime-ridden onion that includes not only a gambling operation, but a corrupt city councilman and a human-trafficking operation.

The trail leads Clay to a sports bar thought to be running only a two-bit gambling shop out of the back rooms. It turns out to be much larger, however, with ties to Las Vegas and Chicago… and its own desert town. Tenacious in his pursuit of justice, Clay is unwittingly lured to the desert and the town, forcing him into a dangerous desert throwdown from which only he or the gambling kingpin can emerge alive.


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Skipper’s Oath, the first installment in P. Wesley Lundburg’s popular Frank Mattituck series, delivers a taut, exceptional thriller that sets itself up perfectly for a sequel.

Somewhat misunderstood with a painful past, Frank Mattituck has a reputation for being a skilled outdoorsman with ethics of solid gold. That is why Todd Benson, a State Trooper, asks for Frank’s help when a rogue killer surfaces in their native home of Alaska. As the two men begin to close in on the killer’s trail, the case becomes increasingly more complex and dangerous with each new discovery, and they soon realize that not everything is as it seems.

While reading Skipper’s Oath, I found myself immediately impressed by the author’s detailed descriptions of the rugged and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. Upon learning that the author was an Alaska Charter Boat Captain, it is no surprise that the outdoor scenes are written with such a gritty intensity that conveys both the beauty and the threats inherent in such a landscape. A particularly suspenseful period in the book revolves around a grizzly bear, and without spoiling anything, let me just say that the sense of fear is so potent you can almost taste it.

We are given clues as to the source of Frank’s pain that he skillfully hides from the world, and these glimpses into a solitary man act like a slow burn, effectively adding layers of mystery and depth to the narrative. Retreating from the world, Frank learns, can only be kept up for so long; soon you will be inevitably pulled back when you least expect it. There is work to be done, and he’s the only one who can do it.

An action-packed thriller with enough mystery and suspense to leave you wanting more, this one is highly recommended. – Tara

A Riveting Manhunt in the Alaskan Wilderness

In typical noir fashion … think Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon … a sexy femme fatale hires San Diego PI Clay Clayton to tail her possibly philandering husband. Things quickly turn ugly when her husband is murdered. Author Wesley Lundburg gives us a quirky assortment of California characters, from surfer dudes to Clayton’s crotchety boss and a hard-boiled San Diego cop. After a continuously twisty plot, Lundburg closes The Stateroom Tryst with a fitting surprise. An entertaining neo-noir with a hip series protagonist. – Music&Mayhem

An Entertaining Neo-noir Mystery