From homicide to human trafficking and drug cartels, Howard Jencks’ first novel “Left for Dead” moves from Tahoe to Southern California and reaches across the border into Mexico as Det. Michael Garrett moves from one bad situation to the next. In this crime novel, no one is safe and the action just keeps coming— right to the end of the book.
When El Dorado County Det. Garrett is called in to investigate the murder of a suspected serial killer in Stateline, he has no clue that his involvement will lead to a major crime operation and endanger the lives of his family and friends as well as his own. The Mexican Mafia and powerful drug cartels enter the picture through Garrett’s relentless determination to rescue a friend from a life of slavery.
Howard Jencks’ 17 year career in law enforcement at the Los Angeles Police Department and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department gives the book its authenticity, especially in the details. Although the book is fiction, parts of it are based on actual events, including the story of Rosa, Garrett’s former high school acquaintance who is sold into a life of prostitution.
“A friend of mine in the LAPD called me and told me this had happened to someone I went to high school with,” said Jencks, a Cameron Park resident.
It’s a leap from the fast-moving life of law enforcement to the slower pace of being an author, but Jencks said it was out of necessity. “I was out on an injury and very limited in what I could do,” he explained. “It was either buy a Play Station or write a book, so rather than go numb with video games I wrote a book.”
Jencks is already hard at work on a sequel, tentatively titled “Better off Dead.”
“With two kids and a new job it’s a little harder to make time to write,” said Jencks, “but I’m targeting 18 months.”
“Left for Dead” is available online at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. Locally it can be purchased at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills.