A fire spreads across a California hillside above the town of Point Richmond and claims the lives of two children. When signs point to possible Ku Klux Klan involvement, homicide detective Oliver Wright throws himself into solving the crime—but in the midst of his investigation, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. As the entire West Coast mobilizes for war, Oliver reenlists in the Marine Corps and is forced to abandon the investigation when he’s sent to work on K-9 patrol on the island of Guam.
After the war, Oliver returns to Richmond haunted by the memory of friends who died fighting, only to find himself entangled in another difficult inquiry: the hanging of an Italian prisoner of war, the chief suspects for which are black soldiers who rioted after the Port Chicago Mutiny trial. With the help of a black MP and an Italian POW captain, Oliver uncovers layers of deceit and violence that stretch all the way back to World War I—and as more and more secrets and lies come to light, he begins to realize that nothing is what it seems.
M. A. Adler lived in Point Richmond as a child and later moved to Ohio, where she became an attorney and a dean at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She studied fine art photography at the Cleveland Institute of Art and was invited to show her photographs in the Kent State University exhibit “Northern Ohio Women in Photography.” Her work was featured in New Art Examiner, and her images and writing have appeared in Northern Ohio Live magazine.
From time to time, Adler visited the Bay Area to refresh her spirit and research Richmond’s history during World War II. In the late ’90s, she returned to Northern California full-time to write, enjoy her family, and do canine scent work with her dogs. In the Shadow of Lies is her first novel.