In New Detective Novel THREE-WAYS, Sex Kills - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

In New Detective Novel THREE-WAYS, Sex Kills

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On May 17, 2014, writer Mike Markel published his fourth crime novel, THREE-WAYS: A DETECTIVES SEAGATE AND MINER MYSTERY, about a web of sexual entanglements on a university campus.

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BOISE, ID, May 21, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When grad student Austin Sulenka is found strangled, nude on his bed, the first question for Detectives Seagate and Miner is whether it was an auto-asphyxiation episode gone bad. Evidence strewn around his small apartment suggests that he spent his last night with a number of different women. One was Tiffany, a former student who still resented the injustice of getting a C in the course when he promised her a B if she slept with him. Another was Austin's beautiful girlfriend, May, who had never before encountered a man she could not totally beguile. Then there was his thesis adviser, Suzannah Montgomery, who might have inadvertently revealed to Austin some information about her past that could ruin her own career. These three women and the other men in their lives had plenty of reasons to kill the philandering graduate student. As Detective Karen Seagate and her partner try to unravel the complicated couplings, she finds herself involved in her own three-way relationship that threatens to destroy her own fragile sobriety.

"In this fourth book in the Seagate and Miner series, I wanted to highlight the ways we use sex to deceive our partners--and ourselves--as we try to fulfill our deepest needs," Markel explains.

"I like mysteries with real-world content and realistic characters, rather than perfect cops who are the best at everything. Karen Seagate, an intermittently recovering alcoholic who has lost her family, is recognizably human and deeply flawed. An abuse victim who thought she had experienced everything there was to know about how people use sex like a knife, Seagate is overwhelmed by the treachery and deceit she encounters as she and her partner try to solve the murder of a handsome student whom many woman wanted to sleep with--and one wanted to kill."

In the first book in the detective series, BIG SICK HEART, Detective Karen Seagate loses control of her drinking and is fired from the force for letting the murderer take his own life after killing a corrupt evangelical leader lecturing at the university.

In the second book, DEVIATIONS, Rawlings has a new police chief, who wants to give Seagate a second chance. But she's not at all confident she can pull herself together enough to do the job. When a moderate state senator is found raped and murdered--with 1488 carved on her chest--Seagate and Miner are back on the trail. But Seagate no longer knows whom to trust--not the new chief, not an FBI agent brought in to "assist" with the hate-crime investigation, and not even her partner. With nothing left to lose, Seagate goes off the grid to pursue a vicious, hate-filled rapist and murderer in a quest that will likely claim her own life.

In the third book, THE BROKEN SAINT, Maricel Salizar, an exchange student from the Philippines, is murder. Seagate and Miner focus the investigation on the university provost, Al Gerson, whose family was hosting her. The detectives discover that Gerson, an influential leader in the LDS Church, served his mission in the Philippines when Maricel was born, and he seems unable to tell them the truth about his relationship with the victim. But Gerson is not the only suspect. Maricel had some unsavory associates at the university, and her boyfriend was a gang member with a violent history. The provost's own son, a schizophrenic who goes off his meds when he most needs to stay on them, had fallen hard for Maricel. The case leads to a confrontation between Detective Seagate and her young partner. Seagate takes Gerson's lies in stride, knowing that everyone who breathes is a liar. But Ryan Miner, a committed Mormon, seems intent on making sure Gerson pays for the crime.

Mike Markel is the author of a number of short stories, as well as the four Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery novels. He is currently working on FRACTURES, the sequel to THREE-WAYS.

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