Sue Hinkin is a former college administrator, television news photographer and NBC-TV art department staffer. With a B.A. from St. Olaf College, she completed graduate work at the University of Michigan and was a Cinematography Fellow at the American Film Institute. A long-time L.A. resident, she now lives with her family in Littleton, Colorado. The Burn Patient is her third novel. Other books in the series are Low Country Blood, and Deadly Focus.
The Mermaid Broker
Last seen heading out of Ventura Harbor with a SCUBA group bound for the Channel Islands, Santa Monica High School Marine Biology teacher, Isabelle Abbott, has vanished.
She finds herself prisoner in the dark bowels of an underground aquarium complex. Once used by the military for marine mammal research, dolphins are no longer denizens of the big tanks. Instead, a menagerie of freaky razor-toothed predators including Piscum Auratus, a genetically engineered gold shark the size of an SUV, swims in psychotic circles.
To her horror, Isabelle discovers that she and a group of traumatized young women have been trafficked to become mermaids for an international sex tourism ring working out of Southern California. They are only days away from being raped by men willing to pay huge sums for the mermaid experience.
Worst of all, to eliminate her as a witness, when the tourists have had their sick fun, more obscenity follows. Isabelle will be tossed to the ravenous monsters in a snuff finale.
Tenacious news reporter Bea Middleton and savvy photographer Lucy Vega, team with Ventura Detective Macintosh Wu. Can they stop the insanity before Isabelle and the others become nothing more than blood in the water?
The Burn Patient
Lucy thought she’d seen her uncle’s murderer die in Guerrero. He was incinerated in a Jeep explosion while trying to put a bullet through her head. She didn’t know officials had never found the body.
Now, Gary Mercer, Hollywood bad boy, drug czar and psychopathic murderer, is back from the dead with a new face, literally. This time his perverted sights are set on Bea’s beautiful, naïve teenage daughter, Alyssa. Trafficking her into the porn industry would be the perfect instrument of revenge against Bea and Lucy, whom he blames for his horrific condition.
As Mercer continues to recover from traumatic burn injuries, with the help a stunning sociopathic transvestite with a penchant for sewing roadkill, he must also fight to claim undisputed leadership of the black tar heroin cartel which has been badly shaken by the death of its long-time jefe, General Luis Alvarez.
As Bea’s daughter sneaks off to audition for the music video that will result in her ruin, Mercer’s henchmen start a brush fire on Lucy’s Malibu ranch. She and Bea struggle to save Alyssa, the ranch, and end Mercer’s reign of terror before it’s too late.
Low Country Blood
Los Angeles TV journalist Beatrice Middleton has lost her job. With a possible employment offer in Atlanta, she heads home to Savannah, Georgia, to reconnect with her contentious African-American family, arriving to find that her 15-year-old nephew has been murdered.
This begins the unraveling of a cloak of family secrets surrounding another devastating crime, one that shattered Bea’s world when she was a teen. The traumatic memory has been buried so deep it almost feels like it never happened—Almost. Humiliated by Bea years earlier, a psychotic Special Ops vet who makes his living moving heroin and specializing in “wet work” has returned to seek retribution.
Meanwhile, Bea’s son Dexter, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, and his friend discover an eye-witness connection to his cousin’s homicide. After a rookie attempt at surveilling the perpetrator, the youngsters disappear.
Bea and her brother, Sheriff Luther Middleton—along with their quirky friends and family—work together to find the killer, stop a major drug deal, and rescue Bea’s son held hostage in a nightmarish landscape of black water rivers, tidal creeks, and drug-fueled cruelty.
When Los Angeles news photographer Lucy Vega’s uncle, a formidable Hispanic businessman, is killed in a car accident in Malibu during a violent El Niño storm, Lucy and reporter-colleague Beatrice Middleton are out to prove murder.
Lucy discovers secret underworld involvement by Mexican cartel members, and bent on finding answers, she travels to Mexico, where she meets a handsome but burned out CNN war correspondent. Trailing the cartel deep into their own territory, they soon find that corruption and brutality are rampant, and Lucy must risk all to find the truth behind her uncle’s murder.