The Next Right Thing (Hardcover)
|Author: Dan Barden|
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|Southern California home builder Randy Chalmers has to admit he''d be dead or in prison were it not for his best friend, lawyer, and Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Terry Elias. Thanks to Terry''s coaching and an endless stream of caffeine-fueled AA meetings, Randy''s been off the booze for eight years. All is well . . . until Terry, himself supposedly sober for 15 years, is found dead of a heroin overdose.|
From the Publisher:
Southern California home builder extraordinaire Randy Chalmers has to admit he’d be dead or in prison were it not for his best friend, lawyer, and Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Terry Elias. A former police officer, Randy narrowly escaped being an evening news highlight during years ravaged by anger and alcohol. Thanks to Terry’s coaching and an endless stream of caffeine-fueled AA meetings, Randy’s been off the booze for eight years, has a successful new career, and is thriving in a healthy relationship with his vegan yoga-instructor girlfriend. All is well . . . until Terry, himself supposedly sober for fifteen years, is found dead of a heroin overdose.
How could Terry, who had dragged so many others from the edge, jump off himself? Convinced that something (or someone) must have pushed him, Randy is soon off on a dry-drunk quest for answers—and possibly revenge. He discovers a trail of dirty secrets that lead to missing persons, shady real estate deals, hydroponic pot farms, and Internet pornography. When his suspicions ultimately connect Terry’s death to the activities of a recently appointed Superior Court judge—who just happens to be dating Randy’s ex-wife—Randy has to ask himself: Is he really onto something or just suffering from grief and paranoia? Will his increasingly frenzied behavior ruin his current relationship and his chances of regaining custody of his daughter? Will he destroy the life that he has worked so hard to achieve? Will he reach for a drink?
The Next Right Thing is a hilarious and harrowing combination of thriller and recovery tale, equal parts hard-earned wisdom and old-fashioned suspense.Crediting his survival, career and happy relationship to his supportive Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, former police officer Randy Chalmers is shocked when his sponsor is found dead of an alleged overdose, a situation that both triggers Randy's addiction and compels him to discover the truth. By the author of John Wayne: A Novel.
"Barden . . .vividly renders the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous and the flawed souls who depend on it to stay sane and alive. While billed as a thriller, [it] is less mystery than tale of male friendship" - Allison Block 02/01/2012 "[This] is a rare beast: a detective story where the central mystery turns out not to be the most important thing going on. Incidentally, and perhaps even rarer, it's also a detective story that makes you wonder if you ought to take up construction and interior design. For that is the unlikely passion of Barden's hard-boiled hero, a man with a darker past than most noir protagonists." - Heather Horn 03/2012 "[T]he local color and the steady stream of hard-boiled aphorisms . . . are grounded by a reasonably serious study of male companionship, what it takes to fly straight and the ultimate inscrutability of other people." - John Williams 06/24/2012