Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son

A Novel

A Mike Garrity Mystery (Volume 2)

Thomas B. Cavanagh

Minotaur Books




Three months after he's undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor, retired police detective Mike Garrity's cancer is in remission. It's great news, but when you've been planning to only live for a few months, you don't normally worry about savings. A return to health also means a return to the workforce, and whether he likes it or not, Mike's going to have to adjust to the role of private investigator.
He's also bounced back into a romance with a member of his cancer support group, Debbie Watson. But while Mike may be celebrating his victory over cancer, Debbie's just been handed a grim prognosis. Desperate, she asks him for help with what might be her last request: tracking down the son she put up for adoption twenty years ago.
Debbie's son is not the only lost child Mike has been asked to trace. A high school friend of his daughter has died of an overdose. The boy's father is convinced that the death was not a suicide and, though the case is officially closed, the officer in charge has his own doubts about its conclusion.
Back at work and stumbling headlong into a new relationship, Mike should have a lot to look forward to. But all is not as it seems, and he's about to find out that cancer isn't the only thing trying to kill him.


Chapter One

There is no death like a child's death.

This piece of wisdom occurred to me as I sat in a pew at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, listening to the presiding priest describe the dead seventeen-year-old stretched out in the...


Praise for Prodigal Son

“Irresistible . . . Cavanagh is definitely a writer to keep your eyes on.” —Florida Today

“Carl Hiaasen and Donald Westlake readers will enjoy Cavanagh's debut.” —Booklist

“Cavanagh infuses the classic private-eye novel with a bit of dark humor, realistic dialogue, and a clear vision of central Florida.” —South Florida Sun Sentinel

“Fans of the classic PI novel will hope to see more of this wonderfully crotchety protagonist.” —Publishers Weekly

“Mixing sardonic humor with fast-paced action, Cavanagh's emotionally charged, entertaining tale is great fun, leaving the satisfied reader with the hope of a compelling sequel.” —Lansing State Journal

“Cavanagh's ambitious debut has a terrific premise and many appealing touches, including an unbeatable cliffhanger.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This debut novel has everything: dark humor, great suspense when the bad guys mark Garrity for pain and death, and heart in its poignant portrait of a terminally ill man trying to understand his teenage daughter.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“An Orlando, Florida, thriller that reads like a high-speed theme park ride. Cavanagh's writing is tough and lean, with dark humor so sharp it'll make you bleed.” —Brian Freeman, author of Stripped and Immoral

“Carl Hiaasen fans will be thrilled to know there's a new kid on the block. If you liked Basket Case, you'll flip over Thomas B. Cavanagh's sardonically and outrageously funny lead character, who will rope you in on page one and take you on a wild ride. Truly, the best book I've read in a long time. Cavanagh has a new and devoted fan in me.” —Charlotte Hughes, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Full Tilt and Full House

Head Games is a sharp and convincing new take on the private-eye novel, underscored with the sobering tang of mortality.” —Wallace Stroby, author of The Heartbreak Lounge and The Barbed-Wire Kiss

“Thomas B. Cavanagh is a great new talent in crime fiction. His voice is tough and tender, sad and funny, a writer equally adept at creating fast-paced action, believable dialogue, and a story with more twists than the latest dance routine of your favorite boy band. The make-believe city of Orlando deserves a crime writer with guts, imagination, and a sense of humor; Cavanagh has all three in spades.” —Lee Irby, author of 7,000 Clams and The Up and Up

“Relentless pacing, local color, mystery, and action---and folks you will root for as they crash against evil. The action and the mystery will keep you reading, but the characters will make you want a whole other book. Please tell us this is a series, with more to come.” —Claire Matturro, author of Wildcat Wine

Head Games is a next generation hard-boiled detective novel with a Travis McGee--styled hero whose sidekick is a brain-tumor named Bob. Flat-out funny, smart, and refreshingly humane, this Florida thriller is set in the whacked-out pre-fab world of Orlando, between Sea World and Disney, where money talks, boy bands rule, and asking too many questions could get a dying man killed. This is a nail-biter with a heart.” —N. M. Kelby, author of Whale Season

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Thomas B. Cavanagh

Thomas B. Cavanagh has written award-winning children's television shows for Nickelodeon, the Walt Disney Company, and many others. He is author of the novel Murderland as well as the first Mike Garrity novel, Head Games, which won the Florida Book Awards 2007 Gold Medal for Popular Fiction and was named a 2007 "Killer Book" Selection by the Independent Mystery Bookseller's Association. He lives in Central Florida with his family.

Thomas B. Cavanagh

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