Candy from Strangers

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Caroline Stockwell has a secret: she and her best friend Monica are "cam girls." Soliciting cash donations and gifts via wish lists from anonymous admirers, the young women have put up a web site featuring still photographs, video and blogs to help pay their way through art college. But when Caroline goes missing and her mother Ellen engages jazz bass-playing PI August Riordan to find her, Riordan discovers her secret and it appears to everyone that someone she met through the Internet is responsible for her disappearance. Set against the real-world backdrop of Internet predators using social networking sites like Facebook to find and ensnare their victims, CANDY FROM STRANGERS is the first novel to explore the phenomenon of teenagers and young adults displaying themselves online in exchange for material favors—often without their parents' knowledge—which some are calling the newest form of prostitution. "Coggins recreates the private eye novel from scratch, breathing new life into it, standing every cliche of the genre on its ear. In turn fall-down funny, then dark and brooding, [it] ends up being a sly examination of all that's wrong—and right—with today's youth-driven society ... [it’s] a hell of a read." —Joe Gores, author of SPADE AND ARCHER "I've been waiting a long time for a fresh look at the private eye story. Mark Coggins has delivered it here ... It’s original, its smart and it was good to the last page." —Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author "Yes, [this] is a fun, enjoyable, droll and snappy page-turner—but it’s more than that, too. This little gem of a book has a very human heart, revealing a keen understanding not just of how and why young girls go missing, but how and why all of us keep missing each other." —David Corbett, author of BLOOD OF PARADISE "[A] gripping ... hard-boiled exploit... Riordan's street smarts and witty asides will make him a familiar—and welcome—figure to fans of Robert Parker's Boston PI, Spenser." —Publishers Weekly "This third outing for Coggins's private investigator August Riordan proves him a worthy successor to the iconic Sam Spade... [A] volume that fits comfortably alongside those of Hammett and Chandler. Heartily recommended." —Library Journal "A mystery that puts on paper the problems modern society has with a need for instant gratification and a social structure more and more based on computer screens and keyboards. Coggi.Read more »

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