Angeles, the first in a franchise of mysteries featuring Paco Moran,
puts the multicultural thirty-something ex-LAPD homicide detective
turned reluctant private eye on the trail of a beautiful young Latina
on the run with ten million dollars in cash. Half Anglo and half
Mexican, Moran is a transitional character equally at home working in
Beverly Hills or blue collar Boyle Heights, the tough East Los
Angeles neighborhood where he was raised by a single mom. In his
debut case Paco quickly learns he will be the fall guy if he doesn't
track down the young immigrant who allegedly stole a small fortune
from a sleazy Hollywood producer secretly laundering money for a
notorious drug cartel. Paco's frantic search takes him on a
roller-coaster ride through a shadowy place he calls Dos Angeles a
city within the city and a virtual country unto itself.
the day before the Pirellis were due home, something unexpected came
up that needed her immediate attention. On hearing what she thought
was the sound of a toilet running she first checked downstairs before
heading up to the master suite. Inside the gaudy all gold and marble
bathroom she discovered a puddle of water seeping out from inside the
extra-long double vanity. Opening the main cabinet doors she saw one
of the stainless steel hoses was leaking badly. She tried to tighten
the connection but it had no effect. Afraid she might make matters
worse, she turned off the valve and hurried downstairs to call a
plumber on the approved contact list.
hour later Sid Kantor showed up and Maria was immediately intimidated
by his off-putting physical presence. Short and obesely overweight
with a large shaved head, a Quaker-like beard, and dull, hooded eyes,
Kantor reminded her of El Malvado, a cartoon villain that used to
terrify her as a little girl in Oaxaca. Because of that and his
gruff, unfriendly manner, she quickly sensed he was one of those
aggressive white foreigners who only saw Mexicans as workers, never
about to give him the satisfaction of staring at her shapely bottom
on the way up the steep winding staircase, she politely stepped aside
and gestured for him to lead the way. By the time they reached the
second floor landing he was grunting and panting so much she feared
he might have a heart attack.
you okay, sir?” she asked with genuine concern.
ya,” he muttered, wiping his brow with his shirt sleeve. “It’s
dis damn heat.”
later Maria stood by patiently as Kantor awkwardly maneuvered his way
under the sink to remove and replace the faulty hose. When he finally
finished he turned the water back on to test it.
should do it,” he said in a heavily accented, non-American voice.
“Let run five minutes to make sure.”
struggling to get back up on his feet Kantor gestured with the
flashlight he’d been using, illuminating the inside of the cabinet.
know what behind dere?” he asked, focusing the light on a small
pocket door under the sink.
where?” Maria was confused.
dere!” he growled, swirling the light around to emphasize what he
was talking about
don’t know,” she shrugged.
Hah?” He pointed the flashlight at the door again. “Must be
something back dere.”
Kantor was obviously way too big to crawl through himself, Maria
volunteered to take a look while he was still there.
time,” he said, tapping on his watch. “Late for next
handed her a business card. “You call if any more problems.”
promised she would and saw him out.
left, she decided to return upstairs to check behind the cabinet to
make sure there were no hidden pipes that could be leaking. When she
slid open the mystery door, she was startled to discover a secret
room. “Dios mío!” she whispered.
her light through the opening she saw what appeared to be a fully
equipped home office. It had a desk with a computer, a printer, a
multi-line phone system and custom-built shelving holding an array of
accordion files and cardboard storage boxes. On entering she found an
illuminated light switch she quickly turned on.
room now brightly lit by a series of overhead spots, the first thing
she noticed was one of the storage boxes had fallen off a shelf and
it was lying face down on the carpeted floor. Alongside it was a
banded stack of dollar bills. Turning over the box Maria was shocked
to see it was filled with more wrapped bundles of cash. But the bills
weren’t ones—they were all hundred dollar Benjamins.
tripping in her haste to see what was in the other boxes, she took
another down, placed it on the floor and quickly removed its fitted
lid. It, too, was filled with packets of hundred dollar bills. Like a
pirate sifting through a chest of precious Spanish doubloons, she
quickly determined there was close to a hundred thousand dollars in
just that one box.
to be a sign, she told herself. She had suffered and endured so much
over the last two months. There had been days when she didn’t know
if she even had the inner strength to carry on. Now—with this
amazing stroke of good fortune—she finally had some hope again.
first she would have to get all of the money out of the house.
she did… where in the world would she go?
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Bio and Links:
nominee Michael O’Hara-- who has written and produced some of the
highest-rated television movies and miniseries in recent memory –
is adding author to his resume with the August, 2015 the publication
of his first novel, Dos Angeles.
book, featuring a bilingual and bicultural private eye named Paco
Moran, centers around Moran’s desperate search for a beautiful
young Latina immigrant who stole ten million dollars from the mob. In
a pre-publication review American Book Award winner Peter Quinn said:
Paco Moran’s debut in Michael O'Hara's Dos Angeles is fast-paced,
finely crafted, and full of surprises. It's noir fiction for the 21st
century, a helluva ride from the first page to last. Here's hoping
O'Hara brings Paco back very soon. I can't wait!
award-winning journalist and NBC Vice President of Media Relations,
O’Hara made an auspicious debut as a writer/producer with “Those
She Left Behind,” a critically acclaimed family drama that
continues to be the highest-rated TV movie (25.1/38 share) on any
network in over twenty years. It starred Gary Cole and Colleen
Dewhurst (who won an Emmy Award for her performance). That success
was followed by the widely praised NBC movie “She Said No” which
won an American Women in Radio & Television Award for Best
Television Dramatic Special.
next wrote and executive produced “Switched at Birth,” the
blockbuster NBC miniseries that earned an Emmy nomination as Best
Dramatic Special and remains the highest rated (22 rating/33 share)
miniseries on network television since its initial telecast over two
decades ago. He was also the writer and executive producer of “Murder
in the Heartland,” a celebrated ABC miniseries which garnered a
Casting Society of America Award and two Emmy nominations. Right
after that he created and executive produced the first of 22 “Moment
of Truth” movies for NBC, establishing one of the most successful
film franchises in TV history.
also wrote “She Woke Up Pregnant,” the pilot for ABC’s ‘Crimes
of Passion’ franchise. It scored an impressive 13.4 rating and 21
share, making it the highest-rated ABC movie of the year. He went on
to write “One Hot Summer Night,” another ‘Crimes of Passion’
thriller that was ABC’s highest-rated Thursday night movie of the
season. Other producing credits include two CBS projects: “Twilight
Zone – Rod Serling’s Lost Classics” and “A Child’s Wish,”
which was filmed in the Oval Office and featured a cameo appearance
by then President Bill Clinton. In addition he wrote and executive
produced NBC’s “In His Life: The John Lennon Story” and “1st
to Die,” a two-part NBC miniseries based on the best-selling novel
by James Patterson.
O’Hara has produced four miniseries and 33 Movies of the Week.
Besides his Emmy nomination, other honors include: a Christopher
Award (“A Child’s Wish”); a Prism Award (“The Accident”); a
Humanitas Award nomination (“Heart of a Child”); a National
Easter Seal Society Award (“To Walk Again”); an International
Health & Medical Film Award (“Heart of a Child”); and the
Media Award from The National Council on Problem Gambling (“Playing