JACK FREDRICKSON – A Safe Place for Dying. Nominated for Best Private Eye First Novel of the Year, 2007.

St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, November 2006.

   Book Description:

A Safe Place for Dying

An extortion letter arrives at Crystal Waters, one of Chicago’s wealthiest gated communities. It makes no specific threats, gives no instructions, demands only that $50,000 be gotten ready – chump change for an enclave where the cheapest house is worth three million. It’s easy to see it as harmless – a note from a nut.

Then a mansion explodes. The homeowners panic, and want it hushed up. If word gets out that a bomber is targeting Crystal Waters, their multimillion-dollar homes will become worthless, a last catastrophe for people strung out from living the good life too well. They hire Dek Elstrom to investigate.

Dek Elstrom used to soar high, too, when he lived with his multimillionaire wife at Crystal Waters, but that was before the dominos of his life tipped over and his ex-wife threw him out. Now reduced to living in a crumbling stone turret, bankrupt of everything but attitude, he’s not even his own ideal choice for the job. He’s too broke, however, to question the motives of a gift-horse client. He needs the money – and the chance to reconnect with his ex-wife. Another bomb goes off, and Dek realizes the culprit must be someone who is angry, needs money, and used to live at Crystal Waters. Then he realizes something else. He himself is the prime suspect.

A sly and clever caper among the richest of the rich, A Safe Place for Dying is for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Robert Crais.

   About the Author:

Jack Fredrickson has had his fiction published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and anthologized by the Mystery Writers of America in Michael Connelly’s Burden of the Badge. He lives with his wife west of Chicago, where he is hard at work on the next Dek Elstrom novel. Visit his Web site at www.JackFredrickson.com.

   Review excerpts:

Publishers Weekly: “In an impressive debut, Fredrickson introduces Vlodek ‘Dek’ Elstrom, an intrepid investigator of Norwegian extraction who has neared bottom with his failed marriage and battered reputation. […] Smartly plotted, briskly paced and laced with humor, this accomplished first marks Fredrickson as a mystery writer to watch.”

Booklist: “Vlodek ‘Dek’ Elstrom is trying to put his life back together. A scandal destroyed his career as an investigator, and no one seems to have read the notice exonerating him. […] As he digs into the case, he wonders why the residents refuse to go to the police. Closing in, Dek suspects an inside job and becomes a suspect himself. Fredrickson has created an engaging new detective in this funny, hard-boiled story that will appeal to readers who enjoy Robert B. Parker’s Spenser.”