“What kind of a man are you?”

That is the question posed to Rick Cahill after he’s forced to serve notice of a custody lawsuit to his acquaintance, Irene. Serving papers is just a way for Rick — a former police officer-turned-private investigator — to pay his rent, but Irene’s piercing question haunts him throughout the tumultuous events that unfold soon after.

Lost Tomorrows (Oceanview Publishing) is the sixth novel in the Rick Cahill series by Matt Coyle. The series follows Rick, a promising young cop on the Santa Barbara police force whose life takes a devastating turn after his wife Colleen is murdered and nearly all of Santa Barbara believes that he is the culprit. 

When Lost Tomorrows opens, Rick has been living for several years as a P.I. in San Diego, and Colleen’s death fourteen years ago remains unsolved. He hopes to never return to Santa Barbara — where many of his former friends and colleagues still see him as guilty — but he finds himself drawn back to the city after his former SBPD training officer, Krista, is killed in a hit-and-run. When Krista’s sister, Leah, hires Rick to investigate the supposed accident, Rick learns that Krista had recently reopened his wife’s cold case, and he begins to suspect that the same person who murdered Colleen also killed Krista.

The story is told from Rick’s perspective, so we the readers are immediately swept into our protagonist’s investigation and follow along closely as he searches for answers — and simultaneously wrestles with the deep emotional impacts of the case. As Rick hunts for Krista’s — and possibly Colleen’s — killer, he grapples with his growing affection for Leah and his ever-present guilt over his wife’s fate. The chance to finally find Colleen’s murderer reignites Rick’s desire to avenge his wife’s death, and as he works the case alongside Leah and a former SBPD rival, he must hide his plan to track down the killer and take the law into his own hands. Rick’s thirst for revenge, as well as his increasingly complex relationship with Leah, forces him to confront Irene’s question: What kind of a man is he? How far is he willing to go in his quest for justice? And should he risk his future happiness in order to reconcile with his past? 

The book’s author Matt Coyle counts Raymond Chandler among his early inspirations, and fans of classic hardboiled crime fiction will appreciate how Lost Tomorrows harkens to the early 20th-century capers of Chandler, Hammett and their peers. The story is fast-paced and suspenseful, luring readers into the sordid underbelly of Santa Barbara, where no one seems worthy of our trust, and our protagonist is more than willing to bend the law in his pursuit of justice.

Though the criminal investigation drives the narrative forward, the novel is just as interested in the emotional fallout for the characters involved. Rick and Leah must contend with their feelings for one another while Leah mourns the loss of her sister and Rick grieves both the recent death of his former mentor and the still-fresh wound of his wife’s earlier murder. Indeed, it is these emotional entanglements that threaten to derail the case and blind Rick to the truth. 

Even readers who haven’t been following Coyle’s crime series can still enjoy the multiple mysteries of Lost Tomorrows, in which the question of Rick’s own fate is just as compelling as the murder case at hand (which is, of course, sufficiently packed with twists until the very end).

Lost Tomorrows is now available for purchase. Read more about Coyle on his BookTrib author profile page.

About Matt Coyle:

Matt Coyle is the author of the bestselling Rick Cahill crime series. Matt knew he wanted to be a crime writer at age thirteen when his father gave him Raymond Chandler’s The Simple Art of Murder. His books have won the Anthony, Ben Franklin Silver, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Silver, and San Diego Book Awards, and have been nominated for the multiple Macavity, Shamus and Lefty Awards, as well as named to numerous Best Of lists. Lost Tomorrows is the sixth book in the Cahill series. Matt hosts the Crime Corner podcast on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and lives in San Diego with his yellow Lab, Angus, where he is writing the next Rick Cahill novel.