Of all the people who could hire Noah Braddock for his private investigator experience, the person he least expected was Marilyn Crier. He had dated her younger daughter in high school. They are a wealthy family in LaJolla. He was from the wrong side of the tracks and never considered good enough for Kate. Now, ten years later, she contacts him. Kate is missing. She believes that Noah would have the left over feelings for Kate that would keep him looking for her.
Noah quickly finds Kate - dead in the trunk of a car. Ken, Kate's father, now hires Noah to find her killer. Kate's husband Randall Tower gives his support for the search although Noah doesn't like him much. He comforts her sister, Emily. Then there is Liz, Detective Santangelo of the San Diego police department and Noah's ex-lover. Carter, Noah's friend, backs him up as he starts investigating Kate's death. Between the different people he speaks with he soon discovers he needs to meet with Alejandro Castilla, the drug lord that runs all the trade between San Diego and Tijuana.
The deeper Noah digs, the more he discovers that Kate wasn't the teenager who taught him about love - something he had never found at home. She had become a heroin addict and was in a bad marriage. Liz knows more than she is telling Noah. It's only after Carter is shot and ends up in the critical care unit of the hospital that Noah begins learning the truth of what happened to Kate.
Killer Swell is a cozy mystery with a surfer dude private inestigator. Noah Braddock has a lot of issues in his personal life that help shape his character and how he handles cases. His friend Carter Hamm is the bad boy good guy who insists on helping and has a lot of shady connections. The mystery goes a bit over the top, especially when there is a shoot out on the I-5, the busiest freeway in San Diego. It is enjoyable although I could see where it was going. I've already reserved the sequel from the library.
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