In Spoils of War, John A. Connell’s sequel to Ruins of War (a Best Debut mystery of 2015), CID criminal investigator Mason Collins attempts to infiltrate a powerful German gang in post WWII Germany. Collins’ suspicions are rained when his friend John Winstone, a special agent with the Counter Intelligence Corps, displays unexpected wealth, shortly before being murdered. Connell, who is a camera operator and aerial cinematographer for films as well as a storyteller, will discuss crime fiction and craft with local suspense authors and Lefty Award nominees Lisa Brackmann (Dragon Day) and Matt Coyle (Night Tremors).
When the Third Reich collapsed, the small town Garmisch-Partenkirchen became the home of fleeing war criminals, making it the final depository for the Nazis' stolen riches. There are fortunes to be made on the black market. Murder, extortion, and corruption have become the norm. It's a perfect storm for a criminal investigator like Mason Collins, especially when his friend, CIC Agent John Winstone, claims that a group of powerful men are taking over the lucrative trade. But before he can fully explain, Winstone--and his girlfriend-- are brutally murdered. Determined to uncover the truth, Mason plunges into a shadowy labyrinth of co-conspirators including former SS and Gestapo officers, U.S. Army OSS officers, and liberated Polish POWs. As both witnesses and evidence begin disappearing, it becomes obvious that someone on high is pulling strings to stifle the investigation--and that Mason must feel his way in the darkness if he is going to find out who in town has the most to gain--and the most to lose.
"Ellie McEnroe is an Iraq War vet living in Beijing, where she represents the work of cutting-edge Chinese political artists. She has one bum leg, a taste for dumplings and beer, and an evangelical mother and a sweet-tempered rescue mutt for roommates. She also has Chinese Domestic Security on her tail and a dwindling number of Percocets to get her through her bad days. And she's about to have some bad days. The immensely powerful--and occasionally homicidal--Shanghai billionaire Sidney Cao has asked Ellie to investigate Marsh Brody, his son's suspicious new American business partner. Ellie knows she can't refuse, and is grudgingly swept up into the elite social circles of Sidney's three children: debauched Guwei, rebellious Meimei and social climber Tiantian. When a waitress is murdered at one of Tiantian's parties, the last thing Ellie wants is to get sucked into a huge scandal involving China's rich and powerful. But Ellie quickly becomes the most convenient suspect and realizes she'll have to figure out who really did it--and even that might not be enough to save herself.
Haunted by a past he cannot flee, Private Investigator Rick Cahill has felt the pain from being wrongly accused of a crime. So, when an attorney asks him to help free an imprisoned man, whom he believes is not guilty of murdering his family, Rick jumps at the chance. The investigation pits him against his mentor, cops who want to put him in jail, and a biker gang that wants him dead. Before Rick can save himself, he must uncover the truth known only to the real killer about what happened one bloody night eight years ago.