Early May and California is burning in The Second Goodbye: A Pacific Homicide Novel by Patricia Smiley. Whether the wildfires are why there have not been any homicides in the last two weeks or something else is at work, Homicide Detective Davie Richards does not know though the lack of new murder cases is making her a bit nervous. She still has plenty to do. Her boss, Frank Giordano, has assigned each of detective two cold cases that have the highest potential to be solved.

One of her cases is the two year old murder case regarding Javi Hernandez. The gangbanger was stabbed fifteen times and left to die on a mattress at his Palms apartment. Since he allegedly sold drugs for the gang, C-Street, the focus of the prior investigation was the belief that the killing was in in some way over drug sales. Within days, the main suspect at the time was killed in a drive by shooting. One thing led to another and the case went cold.


There isn’t much to work with here at this point and her other cold case has even less. Because of all that, Giordano gives her a third case that never sat right with him. Technically it was classified a suicide, but Giordano always had his suspicions. The death of Sara Montaine, aged 34, is one of those cases that a detective knows isn’t what it appears and yet has nothing to point to as proof that it isn’t as it appears. It does not take Detective Richards’ long to realize that a lot more is going on than simple suicide.


The third book in the series, The Second Goodbye: A Pacific Homicide Novel is another strong read by Patricia Smiley. The author uses the ever increasing number of wildfires as well as the constant threat of a new murder case to drive the clock of solving the cases from the past. Those past cases are intriguing in their own ways as is Detective Richards tenuous relationship with Detective Striker. The result is a complex police procedural read full of nuance and depth that builds steadily along to a satisfying finish.


In short, The Second Goodbye: A Pacific Homicide Novel is good and well worth your time.


This is also another book and a series I would not have read if not for Lesa Holstine. Because of her review last December of this book, I put all three books on hold and started at the beginning with Pacific Homicide. While at the review, there is also a link to an interesting interview Lesa did with the author for the Poisoned Pen blog. Also well worth your time.



The Second Goodbye: A Pacific Homicide Novel

Patricia Smiley


Midnight Ink


November 2018

ISBN# 978-0-7387-5236-5

Paperback (also available in eBook format)


288 Pages


Material supplied by the good people of Dallas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2019


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