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Mike Nemeth
The Two Lives of Eddie Kovacs
Mike Nemeth, author
Karl Novak is a grieving widower who is recruited by a Georgia sheriff to undertake one last detective job: find the source of opioids that had caused overdose deaths at Palm Haven, a luxury condo community on Tybee Island. His cover story: revert to his birth identity of Eddie Kovacs and pose as the owner of his deceased father’s dry cleaning stores in Wisconsin. This job is Eddie’s last shot at redemption for his colossal mistake in Vietnam, and his last chance to salvage his reputation as an investigator. The Sheriff urges Eddie to solve the mystery before the DEA steps in and turns the case into a scandal that would ruin his political fortunes. However, Eddie quickly discovers that the DEA already has a man undercover and the case becomes a cat-and-mouse race for glory. To complicate matters, vengeful CIA agents have traced Eddie Kovacs once again. As a Criminal Investigations officer in Vietnam, Eddie Kovacs circumvented his superiors’ attempts to coverup the murder of Tucker Carlyle, his investigative partner, and the illegal arming of a rebellious faction of Montagnards in the Central Highlands by surreptitiously delivering his evidence to the South Vietnamese government. As a result, the Army court martialed a scapegoat, and the Vietnamese drove 200,000 Montagnards to their slaughter in Cambodia and Laos. Eddie defied his father’s wishes to work in the family business, and instead, married Samantha, an unruly military brat. To evade the CIA, Eddie changed his name to Karl Novak and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where he became a DA’s investigator. He once again became a whistleblower, exposing the DA for withholding evidence that a cop had wrongfully murdered a black criminal. Karl was unceremoniously forced into retirement. Tragically, Samantha succumbed to breast cancer leaving Eddie a lonely widower. Now Eddie identifies a suspicious doctor named Cevert, but his investigation becomes complicated when he unexpectedly falls in love with Madeleine, who may be the doctor’s accomplice. Devoted to his deceased wife and to his job as a lawman, Eddie follows the evidence trail and sets up a sting to catch the doctor selling opioids. Eddie crashes into the doctor’s office and finds the doctor isn’t selling drugs, he’s assisting the suicides of terminally ill residents with Madeleine’s aid and encouragement. Eddie has been double-crossed by his informant and a DEA raiding party is at the Palm Haven Gates. Eddie intercepts the DEA, surrenders his collected evidence, and directs them to the location of the drug buy. Eddie can now arrest Cevert and Madeleine for a crime the DEA had not uncovered and end his career in a blaze of glory. However, he’s in love with Madeleine who has stage four breast cancer. Would loving and caring for Madeleine be a betrayal of Samantha? Would arresting her make up for his colossal mistake in Vietnam? What, after all, is the definition of redemption? Called on the carpet by the angry sheriff whose political aspirations have been dashed, Eddie absorbs the sheriff’s wrath for helping the DEA and failing once again to do as he was ordered. The sheriff asks if Eddie uncovered any other crimes at the facility and Eddie says, “No.” He returns to Palm Haven to be with Madeleine to live happily for their remaining years.