The irresistible David Freed's first mystery is a stay-up-late-to-finish thriller. Based in sunny Rancho Bonita-"California's Monaco" as the city's moneyed minions like to call it-Cordell Logan is a literate, sardonic flight instructor and aspiring Buddhist with dwindling savings and a shadowy past. When his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, shows up out of the blue to tell him that her husband has been murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is quietly pleased. Savannah's late husband, after all, is Arlo Echevarria, the man she left Logan for. Logan and Echevarria were once comrades-in-arms assigned to a top secret military assassination team known simply as Alpha. Though Savannah was never privy to the gritty details of their assignment, she suspects that Echevarria's death must be related to the work he did for the government. The only problem is that the LAPD can find no record of Echevarria ever having toiled for Uncle Sam. Savannah wants Logan to tell the police what he knows. At first he refuses, but then, relying on his small, aging airplane, the "Ruptured Duck," and on the skills he honed working for the government, Logan doggedly hunts Echevarria's killer. His trail takes him from the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the most dangerous ghettos of inner-city Oakland, from darkened Russian Mafia haunts in West Los Angeles to the deserts of Arizona. Along the way, Logan is stalked by a mysterious motorist who repeatedly tries to kill him-but that's the least of his problems. It is his love-hate relationship with Savannah, a woman for whom Logan continues to pine in spite of himself, that threatens to consume him. Transcending the worlds of murder, aviation, and international counterterrorism, Flat Spin resonates with a veracity that only an author who knows his subject firsthand can deliver.