Not only is Beth Bowman beautiful, she’s also smart, resourceful and skilled in hand-to-hand combat. These qualities help this former Dallas police officer survive the life of a private investigator in Coral Gables, Florida, though she is a risk-taker. In Dating Death, by Randy Rawls (White Bird Publications, 2016, $18.99), Bowman discovers herself closer to death than ever before. Chief Elston has a crooked politician by the short hairs, but he wants the people bankrolling him, so he recruits Bowman to act as the man’s latest girlfriend so she can be close enough to protect him at public events. When this task proves impossible, she goes into hiding, knowing she’s become the target of dangerous men. With the help of a network of homeless friends, she intensifies her search for the men who are determined to end her life. Dating Death reads like a 1960s TV detective drama, filled with rough edges and tense conversations. Beth Bowman plays the role of hard-bitten gumshoe with gusto, never sure whom to trust and at her best working with her crew of homeless friends. It’s a just-the-facts, look-overyour-shoulder kind of story, and it’s an entertaining escape from reality. Which is, after all, why so many of us pick up a book! A native of North Carolina, Rawls spent his career in the Army, retiring in 1982. Moving to Florida, he returned to work with the Department of Defense as a civilian. His lifelong love of reading eventually turned into a love of writing, and traveling the world with the Army provided him with a wealth of experience to draw from as he developed his skill. Dating Death is his third Beth Bowman adventure.
Doug Gallogly lives with his wife, Jackie, in Fort Myers.