A thought-provoking mystery, Electric Beach presents a very human protagonist facing appalling details about himself, his client, and the world around him. As a not-so-famous lawyer, Mike Connolly confronts his fifth decade with trepidation, having ruined his marriage and degraded his life with women and alcohol. He still has a couple of friends though: his elderly secretary, who believes in tough love when mothering other people, and a weird friend who knows a wide array of nefarious information. Connolly also has a rich client who wants to be proved innocent of the murder of his wife.
Over and above all this, Connolly knows where to find the strength to continue coping with life--St. Pachomius Church, Father Scott, and the Lord they represent. Take this unlikely blend of people and mix them roughly with murder, dead bodies in freezers, illegal oil company maneuvers, blackmail, pornography, prostitutes held in slavery, and a group of eccentric but very recognizable characters, and you come up with a strong, interest-catching mystery. On top of this mix, Electric Beach hits you between the eyes with difficult questions concerning such subjects as: modern day American slavery; economic slavery; choosing between doing right and obeying the law; and the affect of thought life on conduct.
In Electric Beach, the reader walks right beside Connolly as he ferrets out the rights and wrongs of a murder, gets plunged into a part of our modern life he’d rather have never seen, copes with his own failings, and finally, in an edge-of-the-chair denouement, solves the whole tangled web. Connolly is a struggling Christian, and while Christianity is not a blatant part of this story, it does form the essential foundation. An Alabama resident and attorney, author Joe Hilley knows the subject of law, the area in which this story is set, and the types of people he writes about. Written in a contemporary mystery style with touches of whimsy, humor, and poetry, Hilley holds his plot together intelligently, presents well-rounded characters, and creates tension and curiosity which draw his audience’s attention.
Both a good read and a provocative narrative, Electric Beach is well worth the time it takes to read it and leaves you waiting for Hilley’s next book. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com
Mike Connolly, a fifty-something attorney, is now a recovering alcoholic, divorced from his wife and estranged from his daughter.
While researching a murder case, a string of clues takes him to a tanning salon that is a front for prostitution and pornography. Connolly presses on, moving deep into a world where negative forces slowly and subtly turn him back toward who he was before he turned his life around. Surrounded by deception, Connolly does not recognize what is happening until it's too late.