In November, one of our members released four new mystery / thriller novels through his publisher Lycetta Press. Jim Wygant, author of several novels and a memoir, saw two private investigator novels published, one police procedural, and one thriller. All four books are now available on Amazon. Wygant is a retired polygraph examiner who did a presentation a few years ago to a large and receptive audience at a Friends of Mystery meeting, upon publication of his memoir “Confessions of a Lie Detector: Years of Sex, Lies, and Murder”.
Two of the new novels feature the same main character, private investigator Howard Ash. They are set in the 1980s. Sweet and Gone begins with an arson and quickly escalates into a murder. Ash, whose client has disappeared along with an alibi for Ash, has become the primary suspect.
In Circle of Vengeance Ash is hired by a naive attorney to investigate the traffic death of his friend, a City Commissioner. While Ash initially doubts that the accident that killed the Commissioner was anything other than what it appeared to be, he slowly uncovers a conspiracy of silence between four colleagues from the war in Vietnam, 15 years earlier.
The main character in Pursued is Marti, a strong-willed, one-eyed woman of low self-esteem who wears a heart shaped eye patch. She has a tendency to drift into rocky relationships with men who bring trouble with them like an infectious disease. When her most recent boyfriend Luther — an impulsive and perpetually angry gorilla — hurts her, she runs away with a man driving a sporty black Camaro. As they travel up I-5 in Oregon, she learns that her driver has robbed banks. Luther follows, and in a dark incident in a motel room he kills a woman he picked up in a bar. The local police go after Luther, while the FBI chases the Camaro. In a seedy part of Portland, it all comes together.
The Detectives is a police procedural about a burned out homicide detective with the Portland Police. He is assigned to investigate the murder of a prominent, wealthy citizen with City Hall connections. Detective Russell Strick does not want to hear the caution expressed by his superiors to tread lightly.
In Jim Wygant’s years as a polygraph examiner for criminal defense attorneys, he spent many hours interviewing suspects, often while they were incarcerated. He has been inside nearly every county jail in Oregon and in all of the State prisons. He emphasizes that none of his fiction is based on real incidents, but that it all draws upon his long career as an asset in criminal defense.