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The Second Goodbye

ByPatricia Smiley

Midnight Press
ISBN 978-0738752365
Publication Date: December 2018

The Second Goodbye

Review by Tim Suddeth

In The Second Goodbye by Patricia Smiley, we are gifted with the third installment of her Pacific Homicide series featuring LAPD Detective Davie Richards of the Pacific Homicide Division. Davie may be petite and have coppery orange-brown hair, but she’s no-nonsense with her catchphrase: assume nothing. She’s also quite able to handle herself whether it’s dealing with gangbangers, con men, hit men, or attractive stud-muffin detectives. Well, one out of four.

During a lull in the homicide cases in their district, Davie receives two cold cases to follow up on from the list her boss keeps and hopes to complete before he retires. One is the death of a possible gang member, the other a strangulation whose only suspect, the victim’s husband has committed suicide. While she holds little hope on the strangulation, she quickly has some ideas to investigate in the gang shooting. On her way, she’s giving another case to look at involving a possible suicide in a pawnshop.

We are taken on the journey with her as she tries to unravel these cases before a new homicide occurs and takes priority. When you add in false identities, a serial killer stalker, and witnesses whose statements aren’t always reliable, you have a very engaging read. Top it all off with a partner returning from her past, and it becomes a book you can’t put down.

Smiley has put her own stamp on this classic genre. You can feel the tension of the contemporary streets of LA, always under the threat of wildfires. You experience the desperation the detective feels while she is trying to learn the truth. Davie is the type of detective you want on your case: smart, able, and one who refuses to give up until she has all the answers.

Although this is the first book I’ve read in this series, that didn’t hold me back any from getting engrossed in the story. It only makes me want to go back to the others so I can get more of Detective Richards and Smiley’s stories of Los Angeles.

Tim Suddeth was the 2017 Jimmy Loftin Memorial Scholarship Award winner. He’s currently working on his fourth novel. He currently blogs for The Write Conversation and is trying to make a dent in his to-read bookcases. You can follow him at on his blog at or on Twitter @TimSuddeth.